It’s important that you keep yourself up-to-date on news and politics to be an informed citizen. This will help you become a more financially responsible person and use relatable, as well as reliable news sources to help you make good decisions. Follow these five steps, to stay politically informed and prevent sources from deceiving you with inaccurate information.
1. Take Advantage of a News Aggregator
A news aggregator takes stories from a variety of news source and groups them into either an email list or feed for you to read up on. This tool is a great way to stay up-to-date on current events and news stories without the hassle of doing it yourself. A few popular news aggregators are Flipboard, Apple News, Pulse, and Google Current. Fortunately, most of these can be downloaded via an application on your smartphone to view on the go.
2. Personalize Your Social Media Feed
Whether you use Twitter, Facebook, or Tumblr, nearly every social media platform has some sort of “feed” feature that allows you to read breaking news stories and current events. However, in order to take advantage of this tool, it’s best to personalize your feed to follow up on the topics you’re most interested about. Follow reputable news sources, subscribe to their posts, and stay up to date.
3. Set Goals
In the 24-hour news cycle, it’s not easy to be caught up with most news outlets; it takes hard work and commitment. Before you get too overwhelmed by all the new and developing stories, take a step back and set some goals. Try to check the news at least twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. Start out by just skimming the headlines then read a few stories that peak your interest.
If you really want to delve deep into current events, consider dedicating a half hour to an hour every day to reading the news.If that seems like a lot of work, there are other methods you can use to get your news. Try listening to the radio when you’re driving in your car, watch the news on TV, or listen to a podcast. Whatever you decide to do, just make sure that you stay committed to meeting your goal.
4. Fact Check Your Sources
The news is basically worthless if it is not true. With so much more fake news floating around than ever before, it is important to be able to tell which stories and claims are true and which are false. In our current political climate, it is your responsibility to determine which sources are reputable and trustworthy. Luckily, there are plenty of tools out there to help you fact check the claims you hear being made by news sources, politicians, and media personalities. Visit websites like Snopes.com, PolitiFact.com, FactCheck.org, and ProCon.org. Pretty soon, you will be able to sniff out false claims on your own. Though you should always double check use to be sure.
5. Pay Closer Attention to Issues that Interest You
After you make a commitment to reading the news every day, know where to look, and how to check for factual information, you can begin to dig a little deeper. If you find an issue that sparks your interest, make an effort to learn more about it. This will help you grow your expertise in the chosen area, which you can then use to grow your knowledge in other areas. So, if you are interested in politics and political campaigns, check out dedicated news sources like Politico and fivethirtyeight.com. If you enjoy foreign affairs, check out news sources like Foreign Affairs and Foreign Policy.
It’s important to be a politically correct citizen. However, in order to do so, it’s crucial that you read up on your personal interests from reputable sources. With the help of your steps above, you should be able to become politically informed with little effort. So, what are you waiting for? It’s time for you to catch up on the latest news stories and current events to inform yourself of what’s happening in the world around you.