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Meta News

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After the election of Trump, I started looking at news at sites that oppose my default political view. I wanted to escape my filter bubble. It was very interesting experience because I thought I would find "lies" and "misrepresentations" on the "other side" instead what I found was much more subtle. The main difference was in focus. All news sites reported the same things but in different order of priority. If the news was good for the left it would be reported as #1 by left leaning news. On the other hand the right leaning news would report it as #3 or #4 down their page.

After a while keeping track of all these games becomes tedious. That's why we need meta news. It would look something like this:

1) Policy XYZ signed (Reported by 8/10 news channels, average position #2, max position #1, min position #6)

2) A new trade deal signed (Reported by 10/10 news channels, average position #3, max position #2, min position #9)


The meta analysis could go deeper wherein the actual text of the news is combined. Text where there is consensus would be combined and bits that don't match would be attributed to the various orgs. For example:

All news orgs report: Today a treaty was signed with Angola. It is first such treaty to be signed in 40 years after months of negotiation.

CNN reports: This has been praised by XYZ who called the treaty "Perfect!"

Fox reports: This has been criticized by IJK who called the treaty "A huge setback"

ixnaum, Feb 14 2017

http://www.balancednews.co.uk http://www.balancednews.co.uk/news
Balanced news fetches news from across the political landscape and presents it in a way that highlights its provenance from the left or right of the political spectrum. [zen_tom, Feb 15 2017]

http://uk.reuters.com/ http://uk.reuters.com/
Pretty fair, pro-truth, anti-propaganda news. [zen_tom, Feb 15 2017]

http://www.aljazeera.com/ http://www.aljazeera.com/
Definitely worth reading for a non-western context. [zen_tom, Feb 15 2017]


       Good that you bring up RT. It is very interesting:   

       For example, you'll have CNN reporting Russian military buildup near Ukraine and you'll have RT reporting NATO buildup in eastern Europe. I'm guessing both facts are true, but the problem is that I had to go to two sources to figure out the whole picture. And sometimes 2 sources isn't good enough.   

       Meta news would join these tidbits together and attribute them to the corresponding news org. For me the fact that RT chooses to focus on different events than CNN is newsworthy event in itself.   

       Same kind of deal with omission or blatant censorship. If 9/10 news orgs report on something that I know is very newsworthy, I will be very interested in learning about the 1/10 that chose to censor it. Meta news will make it more easy to detect censorship. News worth censoring is the best news of all.   

       After a while a pattern emerges. News organizations within a country are less critical of themselves. So if you want accurate news on corruption within Russia, RT is going to be very sparse. If you want news on regarding corruption in USA, then it's probably good. (and vice versa)   

       There are a lot of countries in the world, so keeping track of all this yourself gets tedious and that's where meta news helps.
ixnaum, Feb 14 2017

       RT is certainly Russian propaganda.
theircompetitor, Feb 14 2017

       Thankfully we have the BBC who are not owned by some advertising ratings algorithm, unlike a network of dumbed down trash such as Fox.
xenzag, Feb 14 2017

       No, it's much better to have it run by a bunch of pinko lefties and strident hand-wringing do-gooders with their own subversive agenda.
8th of 7, Feb 14 2017

       " After the election of Trump, I started looking at news at sites that oppose my default political view. I wanted to escape my filter bubble. "   

       Commendable. But why did you wait so long? Expose yourself to conflicting viewpoints and evaluate, else all you're doing is allowing yourself to be led. (+)   

       Oh, and [8th], I checked the pinky on my left hand, and there's no wringing going on. I don't see a submarine anyplace.
normzone, Feb 14 2017

       //why did you wait so long?   

       I always welcomed opposing viewpoints, but until then I didn't realize that welcoming opposing viewpoints is not sufficient, you have to go out an actually find opposing viewpoints because otherwise internet will bubble you in by default.   

       Going out and finding these opposing viewpoints is time consuming - and sometimes boring especially when I find that several news sites match in their take on a certain event. All that hassle can be avoided with meta news.
ixnaum, Feb 14 2017

       The neutrality of the BBC is evident in the way in which both right and left accuse it of bias
hippo, Feb 15 2017

       //No, it's much better to have it run by a bunch of pinko lefties and strident hand-wringing do-gooders with their own subversive agenda//   

       Haha - Snowflake!
zen_tom, Feb 15 2017

       That banancednews.co.uk, sort of goes in the right direction - what's is missing is deeper analytics.   

       It doesn't help me to see a tall pile of news items. I'm either forced to start filtering (by left or right) in which case I'm back in my filter bubble, or I have to do the analysis myself. Meta news is all about providing that analysis for the reader.   

       Here are some types of analysis that's needed:   

       - How prevalent is reporting of a particular topic across news organizations   

       - Which news organization chose to filter or limit coverage of a particular topic that is very prominent elsewhere?   

       - What is the summary of the news content where most orgs agree? and what are the contentious bits where orgs diverge? Where there is contention and disagreement, there is interesting news.   

       - What is the sentiment of a particular news story by a particular org? positive, negative, neutral? Who is being criticized and who is being praised?   

       Meta news isn't so much of a "news site" as it is a news algorithm or methodology that spits out various useful analytics regarding, trends, world views and biases emerging in the world. Instead of pretending that a particular news organization doesn't have bias or is somehow superior because it has less bias - instead let's analyze and quantify bias by comparing content across all news organizations Bias is not evil, without bias we have 100% conformity, no diversity, no freedom, no passion, no progress. What's bad is bias denial. That is truly dangerous.   

       If journalism is the mirror that helps us understand ourselves our place as part of an evolving community, then meta news is the mirror that helps us understand our place as part of evolving humanity.
ixnaum, Feb 16 2017


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