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How to Find Dependable News and Information In An Election Year

2024 is an election year, which means lots of news and information about candidates. When looking for credible campaign information, here are a few tips:

Candidates’ social media outlets have a bias and a script. What you’ll get from the social media account of a candidate (or the candidates’ campaign machine) is selective look at what candidates want voters to know about themselves. The campaign website of a candidate is useful for detailed information about anticipated plans and programs (unfortunately, usually the detail is lacking). The beauty of this direct portal to a candidate is that the news media aren’t picking and choosing what is covered or what the audience gets. You can see all the candidate has to offer on their socials. Most social media sites have pulled back considerably from labeling misinformation, but Meta (formerly Facebook), among other sites, does maintain a warning label system.

News outlets can be thoughtful, accurate vehicles for candidate information. Social media is a direct connection to candidates and their rhetoric, but trained journalists covering comments by candidates on the campaign trail offer context and background. Context is essential to understanding the import of a candidate’s agenda. Look for balanced news coverage. The Associated Press and Reuters provide dependably accurate and fair reporting on national politics. Journalist Nate Silver has made a name for himself with in-depth, data-based election reporting through his FiveThirtyEight news outlet. (There are 538 electors in the U.S. Electoral College.) Tune in to his podcast here.


Media Interview. Journalists Interviewing Politician or Business


News outlets have become more partisan in response to audience selection. People have shown they want to consume news they agree with in terms of political ideology, and many news sites have responded with politically left- or right-leaning coverage. See this website for a searchable index that sorts news outlets by liberal, neutral or conservative approach to events, ideas and people.

Fact-checking news sites are efficient sources to set the record straight. Campaigning is filled with bold assertions and brazen accusations. Fact-checking daily stories is useful and PolitiFact and are doing good work in this area. However, because most media consumers are immersed in an information ecosystem that is dictated by selective exposure, fact-checks often don’t sway a person’s thinking. To stay informed about what your national elected representatives are saying and doing, use this handy search tool from ProPublica.

Each state has unique voting procedures, so get informed. To know how to prepare to vote, including state voter ID laws, registration deadlines, absentee voting and more, go to this federal government website.

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