Thursday, November 19, 2009

On the Importance of Reading Different Viewpoints on the News

It is dangerous to only listen to and/or read news we agree with. When we do this, we fail to see why people think what they think and do what they do. We begin to think that only we are correct. It fosters an us-versus-them mentality.

A sad example of this is occurring in our country right now. Many conservative Christians only watch or read FOX NEWS. The problem with this is two-fold. First, FOX is politically conservative, but this does not equate to being biblical. Second, the news that FOX presents is almost always slanted to the right. So if we only watch FOX, we only see a narrow view of the issues.

As a counterpoint, CNN, ABC, CBS, and NBC all slant to the left.

What are we to do?

Why don't we listen to/watch/read news from multiple sources? This provides a much broader view of what is happening in the USA and around the world. It keeps us from getting stuck in our own little bubble.

I suggest reading from several of the US news agencies. For example, the FOX and CNN sites offer a good balance to each other. Another good place to look is the BBC.

Let me suggest one other spot: Al Jazeera. Yes, you can read it in English. This news site is going to look at world events through a far different lens than what we see here in the West. Al Jazeera presents news from more of a Middle Eastern view.

We may not agree with some or much of what is written at Al Jazeera. That's fine. At least read what people from other places are saying and why they are saying it. Let yourself be challenged.
Failing to look at anything other than FOX NEWS is a little like refusing to ever read anything by anyone who is not a conservative Christian. Just because we read something we disagree with, this doesn't mean that we have to agree with it.

Let's dare to look beyond what makes us comfortable. This includes the news we read.

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