Vanessa Otero’s Updated Media Bias Chart

Otero goes into great detail describing her criteria for placing the various news sources. She changed a few labels and shifted position for a few sources.  It’s not perfect. It’s not the only answer. It, however, a very useful way to get us to think about what we’re clicking on, reading, and sharing.  See “The Chart, Version 3.0: What, Exactly, Are We Reading?”

William Zinsser: What Is Good Writing? (Clarity, Simplicity, Brevity, and Humanity.)

Most of the students in my “News Writing” class don’t want to be journalists, but they all want to make a living from their writing skills. I’m trying to emphasize some of the markers that journalists put into their work, in order to signal that their work is credible. For instance, one saying in journalism is “Get the brand of the beer, the model of the car, and the name…

MS-Word’s helpful “View -> Focus” mode delays stress-related breakdowns.

You won’t usually catch me saying anything nice about Microsoft. (Ok, Flight Simulator was good.) A few days ago when life was a little more stressful than usual, I found myself nearly overwhelmed by what should have been a routine editing task. Then I stumbled across MS-Words’s View->Focus mode, which hides most of the intrusive accretion of menus, buttons, and readouts. After changing the default black background to a nice…

Why fake news works

Fake news works on our emotions, usually by stoking our fears or confirming our biases. Real news relies on verifiable facts, including emotions only by attributing them to credible sources, and placing those emotions in context. We help spread fake news when we let our emotions guide our reactions, rather than taking a minute to think about the credibility of the source. Even with a mountain of evidence available to…