"Whenever the people are well informed, they can be trusted with their own government; that whenever things get so far wrong as to attract their notice, they may be relied on to set them to rights." Thomas Jefferson.
It's effortless to stay informed in this internet era. Yet being well informed grows more challenging daily. Gone are the days of a few nightly news broadcasts with anchors trusted by both sides of the political divide. News options now are as diverse as our choices in television shows. There is even an industry for entertainment (fake) news. I wonder what Jefferson would have thought of that.
I used to find it funny when an unsuspecting reader fell for an article from The Onion. Despite transparency in being entertainment, not news, occasionally an article is shared as fact, usually in outrage. Facebook friends would kindly explain what The Onion was, the original poster would admit the mistake and we all had a laugh.
I'm not laughing anymore. False and/or biased articles are treated as reputable and feverishly shared in echo chambers everywhere. Furthermore, commenting on the validity of the information is not welcomed, rather it's viewed as an affront to the poster and their political views.
Remaining well informed requires avoidance of click-bait articles, Facebook comment wars, and skepticism of biased, albeit semi-accurate, outlets like Fox and Huffingtonpost.
If only there was a great Thomas Jefferson quote on vetting information you see on the internet and television. Alas, I couldn't find one. Thus I must settle for this Al Gore quote instead.
"Well informed citizenry is in danger of becoming the well amused audience."
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