Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Many Data Sources

I work with a lot of people who are young enough to be my kids. Some are blue collar, some are white collar. It's a very racially mixed group as well. The topic of the election came up today and what was more interesting than their takes was how they arrived at them.

Each one pulls information from a wide array of sources. None of them go to CNN or Fox or anywhere else exclusively. They're all on top of the latest tidbits of information and they share what they've found freely. That means their opinions are widely sourced, more widely than any one individual might achieve unless they were on the Internet all day.

When journalists launch some biased essay, these guys know it right away. For example, it's no secret that the news media who fawned over the BLM riots was now gasping in mock horror at the DC riots. If the newsies think they're fooling anyone, it's only themselves.

It was fascinating to watch the conversation evolve and realize what a generational difference there was.

So what did they think of the election? They all thought it was untrustworthy. They had the flaws of the vote-by-mail idiocy pegged immediately. None of them believe their votes were counted honestly. They also thought Trump was a loon. Some liked him as president, but they all thought he was nuts.

Kids these days! Sheesh!


One Brow said...

Are you familiar with the Ad Fontes Media Bias chart?

There are over a hundred of news sources that are very left-wing, and another hundred-plus that are very right-wing. That doesn't even include various Twitter feeds, Facebook pages, blogs, etc. It's entirely possible to get news from a hundred different sources and still have a highly skewed representation of the news.

I also work with a diverse group of people (some actually are the age of my older children), who get their news from a variety of sources, and whose conclusion is that the election was fair and reliable. I have no doubt that's partly because, much like at any other company, including yours, people of certain cultural positions tend to avoid industries they dislike. Anti-intellectuals usually prefer to avid universities, people who hate gambling don't work for casinos, pacifists tend not to work for defense contractors, etc. So it's not surprising our respective work groups would have similar preferences in news sources.

IlĂ­on said...

=="They also thought Trump was a loon. Some liked him as president, but they all thought he was nuts."==

That's a very rational opinion to hold. As president, he's been the best we've had in decades. As a man, his personal flaws are "yuge".

Anonymous said...

Post 1

I looked at the linked chart on a table yesterday and desktop computer today. It is nearly unusable on the former and not much better on the later. Compare that to this chart: It's a similar visualization.

It looked like the corporate logos were scaled by audience size, but they don't seem to have that data.

Their methodology didn't impress either. - first sentence.

Amateurish overall.

Anonymous said...

Post 2

I describe my political view as small-l libertarian. At present I feel that there are few to no large news media operations that are not skewed to the left.

I generally read the WSJ print weekend edition though they seem to be drifting from center-right to left-ish. It could be due to ideological conflicts among people running the paper. It could be due to younger writers being added to the staff who are generally more left leaning then older writers.

I used to check Google News regularly at least to catch the headline but stopped doing that years ago.

I do find interesting info in links from blogs, but that doesn't really take the place of having one or a few news sources who seem to cover the important stories rather than pushing a narrative.