A nutritious news diet

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[Commentary] Many people spend a great deal of time thinking about their diets. They try to eat the right foods in the right quantities. Sometimes they may wish they’d made better choices.

Do news consumers spend as much time thinking about the news content they’re taking in via television, print, or, ever more likely, online? What is the quality and quantity of this news diet? Here are some questions a thoughtful news consumer could ask:

  • Is this news nourishing me? Does it help me really understand what is happening or is it just intended to provoke an emotional response?
  • How does this news report make me feel? Do I come away with thoughts that are angry or hopeless or discouraged?
  • Do I go only to a few familiar places to consume news, especially news “flavors” that fulfill my expectations by always confirming what I “already know”? A more balanced news diet might include several thoughtful sources that leave one with thoughts such as “I hadn’t considered that viewpoint before” or “I hadn’t thought about that possible solution.”

With access to a flood of news from around the globe online, people can easily overindulge in stories stuffed with shock or sentimentality. But consuming the right kind of news can inspire better thinking.

A nutritious news diet