Breaking Your News Bubble

This guide offers methods and resources to critically evaluate the news you consume.

How to Break Your Bubble

Bubble bursting in slow motion on a cactusBreak your news bubble by being aware of the media you are consuming. Knowing who is creating your news and how it is being distributed gives you control of what you read, hear, and see in the media. Be an active media consumer by:

  • evaluating your current news sources to identify any bias,
  • changing your social media settings, 
  • auditing your news habits.

.gif credit: re-colored, cropped, and compressed from video by John Lund

Identifying Bias

Not sure how to identify bias in the news? These sites offer analysis of news outlets. Compare the news for yourself by seeing news from the left, right, and center side-by-side. 

Social Media Settings

One way to break your bubble is to change the order in which you see new posts in your social media. Instead of seeing posts by popularity or other method, you can opt to see posts in chronological order. Or, you can adjust whose posts you see. Below are links to information about changing your settings. 

How to adjust your settings in Facebook:

How to adjust your settings in Twitter

How to adjust your settings in Instagram

How to adjust your settings in Google

Strategies for Breaking your Bubble

The following are based on Mandy Zibart's comprehensive article, "How To Escape Your News Bubble"

This isn’t easy; be forgiving but be brave in cutting things and adding things to your routine.

What you put into your news routine is what you’ll get out of it.

Action

(what to do)

Tools

(what to use)

Benefits

(what you might get)

Personal news audit/inventory - track your news consumption Discover your current news sources to gain a sense of how much diversity you’re bringing into your news routine
Add new voices and formats to the mix
  • Follow annoying high school friends and pundits/politicians, people in other countries, new topics
  • Consult friends/family who don’t always agree with you (who do they follow?)
  • Podcasts, newspaper/magazine subscriptions
Learn about the people in the city, state, country, and world you live in
Be attentive and engage but don’t get overwhelmed
  • Read deeper not more
  • Have conversations about what you read with friends/family at times and places when/where you can make space to respectfully disagree
  • Be selective and organize your news with a news aggregators like Feedly
  • Your vulnerability will bring you new perspectives
  • Develop empathy and understand a point of view
  • Rise above the trolls
Modify the sources you already use

Facebook, Google, Twitter, and other social media settings

Get new news by using familiar platforms