To Tackle Prejudice, First Tackle Confirmation Bias

“Confirmation bias” is widespread. Indeed it is human to “look for, find, remember and share information that confirms the beliefs we already have, and the tendency to dismiss, ignore and forget information that contradicts those beliefs.” Confirmation bias is what spreads “propaganda and false or misleading claims among otherwise sensible and skeptical people.”

Here are examples of lies about Donald Trump that confirm what some people think they know about him, but in fact are not true. http://www.snopes.com/2017/07/12/trump-lies/

The Importance of Competition in the Marketplace of Ideas

Even America, which has a long history of freedom of speech as guaranteed by the First Amendment to the US Constitution, is continuing to learn, or relearn, the importance of competition in the marketplace of ideas.

 

Students Take Exercises to Distinguish Real News from Fake News

The News Literacy Project helps students distinguish real news from fake news. Students in classrooms are doing exercises to determine real news from fake news, mostly from viral content spread on social media. Here’s the story from NPR.

Some politicians are attempting to delegitimize real news they don’t like that holds them accountable by labeling it “fake news.” A newspaper in Colorado is fighting back, and considers suing a politician for defaming its reputation. Click.

Power of Mainstream Media Declines

As the American media loses economic power, with diminished resources — traditional print and broadcast media are in a far more precarious position than they were in 1970 — their cultural and legal protections have weakened as well. The public’s confidence and good will has almost evaporated. Less than a third of Americans express trust and confidence in the mass media “to report the news fully, accurately and fairly.” Politicians can bypass the mainstream media and communicate directly with the public through social media, Facebook and Twitter.

Two media lawyers explained in a NYT op-ed: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/25/opinion/dont-expect-the-first-amendment-to-protect-the-media.html?_r=0