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How to Break Your Bubble
Break 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
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.
AllSides.com presents the news with its bias (left, right, center) on full display. Read the news, place it in context.
Blue Feed Red Feed
A project by the Wall Street Journal, this site compares liberal and conservative Facebook feeds, side by side.
Detecting Bias in the News
This site from the University of Washington Libraries provides guidance on how you can evaluate photos, headlines, use of names/titles and other clues in the news for bias.
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 Feed Works on Instagram
Information from Instagram about how the feed works. Unfortunately, there does not appear to be a way to view posts chronologically in Instagram.
How to adjust your settings in Google
Personalize your news settings
You can set up Google News to show the topics you want to see and give you news based on where you are. Click through options at the top for iPhone/iPad, Android, or Computer.
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.
(what to do)
(what to use)
(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