Blog Posts

My Media Diet

August 25, 2022

7am : My alarm goes off and I snooze for a bit before actually getting up and ready for the day. Around 7:30am, I check my phone and go through my emails. I see a couple different emails from different news subscriptions sharing different stories. 

The first story I see is from The New York Times morning email newsletter. They have a link to a story about breaking down the “elected Republicans into three groups, based on their stances toward false claims about the 2020 election.” Now, since The New York Times is a media and news outlet, I would hope that they would have accurate and credible information. However, as we have learned in many of our digital media learning materials, we always should check the sources. 

Screenshot from NYT email

8am : I leave for work and listen to a podcast on my drive. Recently, I have been listening to the Bible Project Podcast, which is a credible source of religion and Bible knowledge, because the hosts are both Biblical scholars and have extensive knowledge in the history and technical aspects of the Bible. 

Screenshot The Bible Project Podcast

9am – 3pm :  I get to work and start warming up for class and dance rehearsals. For most of the day, I stay off my phone. The only except is when I review choreography because I use my phone to watch videos on our google drive. 

During our lunch break, I briefly check Instagram and see someone repost one of NPR’s recent posts stating President Biden is canceling up to $10K in student loans. This seems like an amazing claim. I would regard NPR as a credible source of information. However, I think such a statement should definitely be supported by some substantial information.

In addition to the NPR post, I also read this post that LeeFromAmerica posted on her Instagram about an article she wrote about the correlation between counting likes and counting calories. I didn’t have time to actually read her full article, however I think such a topic is extremely interesting. 

Screenshot of @Leefromamerica’s Instagram

3:30pm – 8:30pm : I finished my dance job and then I drove over to Starbucks to work for the next couple of hours. Again, I don’t use my phone, since we aren’t allowed. On my 10 minute break, I read through some pages of Dune, a book I’ve been trying to get through. 

9:00pm : Once I am home, I eat some food and check my phone scrolling through Instagram and TikTok. Surprisingly, I didn’t see anything that stood out as not credible media. All of the posts were either memes or funny videos that just made me laugh. 

Looking deeper into the NYT article about Republicans, I first looked into the authors, David Leonhardt who writes “The Morning” for the New York Times and wrote the article I mentioned.  In 2011, he received the Pulitzer Prize for commentary. Ian Prasad Philbrick was the other author for this article. The article highlights that many Republican “officials continue to tell lies about the 2020 election, claiming that Donald Trump lost only because of fraud.” However, dozens of other Republicans don’t endorse this line of thinking. Ultimately, the bottom line of the article states, “It remains unclear whether the Republicans denying the 2020 election result  — or the Republicans enabling those deniers — would ultimately be willing to overturn a future election.

One thing that I find noteworthy is that this article does not present a list of sources that all the information was derived from. However, throughout the article they link in-text hyperlinks that bring the user to multiple different previous articles written by The New York Times. As a reader, who wants to check the credibility of this article, I would prefer the links to be from outside or direct sources instead of information linked from their own resources. 

For completing this media diet, I have noticed that personally for myself, it really doesn’t matter what the information that is being posted entails. If there is a post from someone I trust, then I caught myself multiple times believing the statements or claims even before diving deeper and checking the information. Even with trustworthy resources, I should be checking the information before actually believing the information.

Additionally, I saw less questionable content than I expected. I had to really look for content that I thought was questionable and more opinion based. I don’t really like reading the news because normally the information is negative. I don’t feel like the news necessarily involves me or affects my life. I always feel very helpless since I can’t really do anything to change it. However, I would like to change that mindset and actually intake news media actively and purposefully.

As we learned in our learning materials, a good place to start is trying to understand the current state of the media. I believe news today is more sneaky than it used to be. Fake news headlines are not as popular however, the media still tries to intertwine their narratives throughout the news story instead of blatantly posting it in the headline.