5 Tips to Become a More Informed Voter

While the 2016 Race may be done and over with, there has never been a better time (as every day for the next two years will be) to become better versed on the facts and issues. While not everyone can become a "news nerd" like I am, there are some simple ways that you can become more involved in the world without it feeling like your drudging through the depressing yet surprisingly boring task of thumbing through news stories.

 

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  • There are dozens of News Outlets; explore them: It is easy to look at one source and take what you’re hearing as fact, but that ignores a significant chunk of the news that may be prevalent as well as analysis that comes with news. A good way to tell if a story is real or not is to tell if the headline is in two or more places and if those headline are from legitimate publications.

 

  • Find issues that you care about and find them in other news stories: One of the easiest ways to learn something new is to associate that new thing with something you already know. Because most news today is layered with several different issues, it can interesting to see if the issues you care about make into the vital news stories that require our understanding as a public.

 

  • Do not underestimate the reporting of late night television: While it can be easy to scoff at the legitimacy of comedians presenting the news, talk show hosts have shown themselves to be entertaining while providing solid analysis on big news stories. Hosts like John Oliver, Samantha Bee, Stephen Colbert, and Seth Myers have proven themselves to be reasonable voice of the younger generation while also being very thorough in their analysis.

 

  • Beware…The most important stories tend to be the most boring, also the most complicated: A few days ago, the Feds voted to raise interest rates in order to slow down growth, why do they do this? In order to combat against the possibility of out of control inflation that is accompanied with strong economic growth. Was able to bore you to tears with those 40 words? Most likely. Will what I just told you have an effect on every purchase you make for the next year? No question.

 

  • Media is present to educate, conversation is present to learn: While you can consume every article, statistic, and individual fact that appears on every website, none of that means anything unless you are able to talk to someone else, preferably an individual who disagrees with you. I understand this can be daunting because it invites the opportunity to be wrong but being wrong, acknowledging your mistake, and correcting it is the best and most effective forms learning. If you can start with the ability to accept that you are wrong, you can truly inform yourself.  

PoliticsAlec Bose