From a New York Times opinion piece by Nicholas D. Kristof, called The Daily Me*:
...the public is increasingly seeking its news not from mainstream television networks or ink-on-dead-trees but from grazing online.
When we go online, each of us is our own editor, our own gatekeeper. We select the kind of news and opinions that we care most about.
Nicholas Negroponte of M.I.T. has called this emerging news product The Daily Me. And if that’s the trend, God save us from ourselves.
That’s because there’s pretty good evidence that we generally don’t truly want good information — but rather information that confirms our prejudices. We may believe intellectually in the clash of opinions, but in practice we like to embed ourselves in the reassuring womb of an echo chamber.
I can relate. While I still avoid media sources that employ ad hominem attacks, I'm working to develop more of a discerning filter that says, "Wait a minute, this sounds too good to be true" or "Now, where did you get those statistics?"
For the past couple of years, I've subscribed to FactCheck.org, a non-partisan service that scrutinizes how political speeches and statements stand up to careful research and documentation. As a storyteller, I strive to find the truth in fiction. As a voter and a tax-payer, I really want just the facts, even if they don't coincide with what I wish were true.
*This article may require you to set up a New York Times profile account, which is free. If you don't want to go through the set-up process, email me off-blog and I'll email a copy of the article to you.