Long gone are the days of news broadcasters. They died at least a decade ago and maybe two. Today we live in a world of pundits. The nights of the family gathering around the TV to watch Dan Rather or Walter Cronkite are a thing of the past. It would appear that most people today watch one of the big 24/7 news stations that agree with their political views, which is about all that is discussed. No matter the issue, as can be seen in the recent pandemic coverage, it will be turned into a political issue to either bash one party or praise the other.
But all is not lost. With the death of professional journalism (by death, I mean the loss of any semblance of impartiality), came a surge of blogs and websites where what are often referred to as citizen journalists jumped into the pool. However, in the polarized society that’s been so carefully engineered for us, even these news sources are biased to one degree or another. How is one to know what is real news, and what is a pundit’s personal or corporate opinion?
This is where you have to use your head and some logic. Personally, I look for three confirmations from three separate sources that all relay the same basic info. If you can find more than four, even better, it will only strengthen your confirmation. However, in all of these, there will bias. And it’s up to you to sort the wheat from the chaff.
Tools to Use
Use Google Alerts to track news in your area. Look it up, and it’s a simple process to set up, and then it runs in the background and gives you a daily dump of intel to wade through. Keep your tags as precise as you can to prevent an overload of information that can cause paralysis through analysis. Look for the common threads and then search from various search engines to find the original source and use that information to make your own decision.
Twitter is a very valuable tool. Set up an account and start looking for people to follow that report on things you’re interested in. This is one of the most valuable tools I personally use. I follow people from all over the world. When border tensions between China and India kicked off, several of my normal intel sources on Twitter picked up on it. They then began retweeting locals in the area of the confrontation. I then followed them, cutting out one stop in the game of telephone that we all know so well.
As you begin to build your own intelligence network using open source intelligence, OSINT, you will be more informed and generally much faster than the MSM will ever be capable of. I’ve broken stories here in the US a full four hours before the MSM ever mentioned them using these very methods. However, do not jump the gun. Just because one of your preferred sources puts something out doesn’t mean it’s true. You need confirmation first. Request additional details, look to others in their area or check out people responding to the comment. Once you’ve found your confirmation and verified the source, it’s a pretty safe bet something is up.
One point worth mentioning here. If you start a Twitter account to use for intel purposes, and this goes for any platform really, stay out of the comments. Read them to get the temperature of the event in question, but avoid commenting if you can. Remember, everyone has an opinion, and in today’s world, the wrong one could create all manner of trouble for you. You could be doxed or worse, banned from the various platforms for questioning the party narrative. Just like with Ham radio, it is often more valuable to listen than to talk. You have two ears and one mouth for a reason, use them in that ratio.
The last source I’ll bring up is shortwave radio. If you have a Ham radio, you can listen to broadcasts from all over the world. A cheap shortwave radio will do the same. Purchase a small external antenna for it because reception inside a building will be nearly nonexistent and scroll through the frequencies at night, as this is when those frequencies perform best. You will hear a lot of international talk.
Remember, the vast majority of this is state-sponsored propaganda. US stations are putting it out just as there are Russian and Chinese stations operating transmitters in English, so don’t be fooled. Use it as another resource.
In the end, deciding what is real information and what is propaganda comes down to you doing the legwork. It’s not easy and takes some time. But the points mentioned here can make it almost automated for you. But it’s still up to you to make the judgment, and sometimes, you’ll be wrong. Learn from those mistakes. Intelligence and the analysis of it is a top priority for any government around the world. It is incumbent on us to decipher the fact from the fiction. Understanding when we’re being manipulated takes a critical, thinking human, like you