Sunday, October 15, 2006

Truth In America

An interesting show on Oprah recently about "Truth in America" and how the media affects our view of what the truth is...

"According to the Poynter Institute's Dr. Roy Peter Clark, 'The truth is being distorted from all corners, and Americans don't see it, or if they do, too many don't seem to care.' Here are seven things Dr. Clark says you can do to recognize manipulation in government, media, business and advertising:

1. Find three political bloggers who represent the right, the left and the middle. Consult them to help you sort through political issues and media messages.

2. Look for role models of candor and accountability, people in public life who have proven to be reliable over time. Look especially for folks within a movement or political party who have the courage to speak against the interests of their own party.

3. Prefer people who want to have a vigorous conversation to those who want to shout at each other.

4. Do not be seduced into thinking that every hot-button issue requires you to be on one side or the other. There may be a middle ground. Don't be afraid to be puzzled or uncertain about an issue. It's okay to be working to make up your mind.

5. Get up off the couch. Join a club. Volunteer. Sing in the choir. One way not to be fooled by political or media manipulation is to learn from direct experience, from reality and not reality TV.

6. In an age of celebrity culture, try to pay more attention to people for what they do than for who they are.

7. Be a skeptic, but not a cynic. A skeptic doubts knowledge. A cynic doubts moral goodness. The cynic says, "All politicians are liars," or "all journalists have a secret bias." The skeptic says, "That doesn't sound right to me. Show me the evidence."

Good, Interesting Advice no matter which side of the fence you are on...


Shayden said...

I like number 4. Some people I've encountered have thought that my lack of a distinct stance on certain issues makes my opinion worthless and discredits my beliefs. I beg to differ. There are some issues out there that I believe are truly gray areas that one side or the other alone will not satisfy. Only when those two sides are combined in a middle ground with bits of what is "right" are taken from both will a workable solution be found. Sometimes, it's all about compromise.

Deep Chandegara said...
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Vvyynn said...

I, too, like #4. Mainly because it justifies me not having a stance on Stem Cell research (COMPLETELY lost on that issue).

Anyhoo...let me see what we're discussing here. Ah, I see. Well, this seems to be dealing primarily with political kinowledge, however I'd like to try and apply this to other types of knowledge. Ooh, this'll be fun...let's see:

"The Cat is Brown".
According to these guidelines it is not enough to take my word for this, or the nice illustration that goes with it. You must go out and experience for yourself that, yes, the cat IS brown.

Okay...I really have no idea what to talk about here.

I disagree.