We tend to think of news as facts, but what we’ve discovered is that this is not necessarily true. The way news is represented can completely change how we perceive the world, and even how we feel.
News companies weave their own bias into stories so subtly that it's tough to separate this from the content of the article. This was an issue we felt strongly about and felt like we had to explore it further.
So, we used ourselves as guinea pigs for a week and conducted a very (un)scientific experiment to see the effects of news and news bias on us - quantified self for news if you will. One of us only looked at MSNBC while the other looked at multiple sources (MSNBC, ABC News and BBC) and tracked our emotions, mood and top news for the day.
Curious to try it out for yourself? Read on for the rules and some handy tips. Post your updates on social media using the hashtag #TheTruthAboutNews
But first, a little helloooo from us!
These Were Our Rules
# MacKenzie will only look at MSNBC (that's right, no Facebook for her) as her go-to news site, while Manya will get her daily dose of news from multiple sources (BBC, ABC News and MSNBC).
# Both of us will check the news twice a day (9am and 9pm) — nothing more, nothing less.
# At the end of each session, we will write down one word to describe our emotions, rate our mood from a scale of 1 to 5 (1=very negative, 5=very positive) and the piece of news we perceive to be most important.
So, now what?
* With the elections around the corner, we're inundated with articles, tweets, interviews, and more covering every moment of the race for presidency, there has never been a better time (and necessity) to sit up and listen closely to what is really being said.
* The tips above are essentially things we wished someone had told us. We're sharing these tips in hope that they will help you navigate the the news landscape, helping you cut through the dramatization and new bias to get to the core story and form your own opinions.
* We used MSNBC, ABC News and BBC as we thought they were a good sample of the range of news sources, but you can try this with any news outlets.
* Finally, be sure to try out the tips for yourself and share your thoughts with us! We promise that news will never look the same again. #TheTruthAboutNews