To be a critical consumer, one must:
- Study alternative perspectives and world views, learning how to interpret events from multiple viewpoints.
- Seek understanding and insight through multiple sources of thought and information
- Mentally rewrite (reconstruct) news stories through awareness of how stories would be told from multiple perspectives.
- Assess news stories for their clarity, accuracy, relevance, depth, breadth, and significance.
- Notice contradictions and inconsistencies in the news (often in the same story).
- Notice the agenda and interests served by a story.
- Notice the facts covered and the facts ignored.
- Notice what is represented as fact (that is in dispute).
- Notice questionable assumptions implicit in stories.
- Notice what is implied (but not openly stated).
- Notice which points of view are systematically put into a favorable light and which in an unfavorable light.
- Mentally correct stories reflecting bias toward the unusual, the dramatic, and the sensational by putting them into perspective or discounting them.
- Question the social conventions and taboos being used to define issues and problems.
Paul, R., & Elder, L. (2004). The thinker’s guide for conscientious citizens on how to detect media bias & propaganda. Retrieved from http://www.criticalthinking.org/files/SAM-MediaBias1.pdf