In this age, we have access to an ever-evolving range of media sources. From news outlets to social media platforms, the content we encounter daily shapes our perception of the world around us.
However, with the abundance of information available, it becomes increasingly difficult to distinguish sources from ones. To shed light on this issue, let’s take a glimpse into a 24-hour media diary that encompasses channels such as television, radio, digital media, podcasts, books, and more.
This exploration does highlight the diversity of media on the various platforms. It also draws attention to instances where controversial or potentially misleading information may arise.
By undertaking a media diet, we can gain an understanding of how information influences our lives and the importance of critical thinking when navigating today’s complex media landscape.
Let’s dive in.
6:00 a.m. to 8:50 a.m.: Starting the Day Mindfully: I begin my day by practicing mindfulness and avoiding the immediate urge to check emails or browse social media. Instead, I take a moment to breathe, pray and set goals for the day ahead while keeping in mind the need to evaluate the media I consume critically.
8:50 a.m.10:30 a.m.: Catch up on BBC News. The topics covered included Biden tours’ overwhelming’ Hawaii wildfire damage, the Afghanistan situation, and climate change issues. Additionally, I came across a piece about stained glass artwork in The Cambridgeshire Church stained glass depicts Covid-19 scenes. BBC News
Scanned social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook for trending topics. Found discussions on misinformation, political polarization, and celebrity gossip.
10:30- a.m. to 11:30 p.m.: Listened to NPR’s Morning Edition—covered stories on global politics, health, and technology. Also listen for a few minutes to “The Healthy Steps Radio Show for 08/21/2023″ podcast with Dr. Fred Harvey, addressing life expectancy against the background of propaganda in the healthcare industry. NPR.
I watched a couple of YouTube videos on fishing and cooking events and a Jamaican dance hall entertainment video (Due with Beenieman & Miss Ting).
11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.: I went to the bank and ran a couple of errands during this period.
3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.: Took a break to have a snack and watch the local news, weather, and spI scannedcanned a couple of headlines on Reuters about international relations, finance, and questionable corporate practices. (Clicked and read: WorldcategoryUkraine’s Zelenskiy says F-16s make him ‘confident’ that Russia will lose the war). Reuters.
I quickly scanned The New York Times, “The Daily, ” during the lunch break.” Topics included political analysis (Inside the Sputtering Campaign of Ron DeSantis) and human interest stories. (Clicked and read:
4:12 p.m. to 6.15: Scanned Fox News. Found stories on U.S. politics, immigration, and cultural debates. Read:
Read articles on Medium about technology, mental health, and personal development. Some content may lack proper citations or verification.
I watched CNBC for financial news. Topics covered were stock market trends, cryptocurrency, and economic forecasts. (Read:
6:15 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.: Again, followed up the local news on televised covered community events, weather, and local politics.
Read a couple of chapters from my textbook on writing and editing for digital media.
I took a break and watched a Netflix documentary on social media’s impact on society.
Next, I scanned Reddit for community discussions on various topics, including controversial debates and opinions.
9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.: Watched late-night talk shows discussing political satire and current events.
Midnight: Bedtime with my Spotify Neil Diamond playlists.
Questionable Content and Memes
1. Misleading Rumors About the Death of Obama’s Chef: Videos with AI voices promoting unsupported rumors about the death of Obama’s chef, Tafari CamAI-voiced YouTube videos amplified these videos. Videos with AI Voices Promote Unsupported Rumors About Death of Obama’s Chef, Tafari Campbell | Snopes.com
2. Hurricane Hilary Memes: A meme claimed that Hurricane Hilary entered the country “Because It’s Biden’s America.” This was found to be a satirical comment rather than a factual statement. Snopes
3. Shark Swimming Down a Highway: A much-repurposed photograph of a shark swimming down a flooded highway after a hurricane was found to be fake. This image has been used multiple times to create sensationalism. Snopes
Diet and Wellness Posts
1. Social Media Influencers: On Instagram, several influencers were found promoting diet products and wellness routines without scientific backing. These posts often include affiliate links and lack proper disclaimers.
2. Misleading Health Blogs: Some health blogs promoted herbal remedies and diets without evidence or medical backing. These sites often pose as credible sources but lack proper citations.
1. Fact-Checking Site Used: Snopes was used to verify the claims mentioned above. Snopes is a well-known fact-checking site that adheres to the International Fact-Checking Network’s highest standards.
2. Conclusions and Actions: The fact-checking process revealed that some content was misleading or false. The actions included disregarding incorrect information and relying on credible sources for accurate information.
1. Quantity of Questionable Content: The amount of questionable content was more than expected, especially on social media platforms.
2. Patterns and Trends: Misinformation spreads through memes and sensational headlines. Some outlets and individuals are more prone to sharing unverified information.
3. Inclination to Fact-Check: Outlets with a history of misinformation or sensationalism were more inclined to be fact-checked. Personal biases and political affiliations also influenced the inclination to fact-check specific sources.
4. Overall Observation: The prevalence of misinformation underscores the importance of media literacy and critical thinking. It’s essential to verify information through credible sources and be aware of biases that may influence judgment.
The exercise revealed the pervasive nature of misinformation and the importance of fact-checking in the digital age. Whether it’s memes on polarizing topics, questionable diet and wellness posts, or stories posing as credible sources, the media landscape is fraught with challenges. Tools like Snopes provide valuable support in navigating this complex environment, but individual responsibility and critical thinking remain key to discerning truth from falsehood.