Get Involved: Go Online

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Become a Critical Consumer of Political News

Inform Yourself

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Visit news sources outside the traditional mainstream media. Many blogs and websites serve as media watchdogs and alternative voices. Have you read or heard of the Drudge Report (www.drudgereport.com), the Huffington Post (www.huffingtonpost.com), Salon’s blog (www.salon.com), the National Review (www.nationalreview.com), the Weekly Standard (www.weeklystandard.com), Truth Out (www.truthout.org), Moveon.org, or www.rightmarch.org? What about TheMonkeyCage.org? Can you tell which news sites represent the ideological left versus the right, and which are created by scholars on neither the right nor the left?
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Check the facts. Candidates and political groups use the Internet and social media to deliver their messages directly to the public, unfiltered by editors. One downside to this process is that lies and misinformation are more common online. Visit the popular Factcheck website (www.factcheck.org) and its Viral Spiral page (from the site’s top menu). What are the current Internet rumors? Who are the subjects of these rumors? Do you see a pattern?
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Express Yourself

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Share your view of the media. HBO’s The Newsroom is a show about how the mainstream media care more about ratings than reporting the news. Consider the clip at www.youtube.com/watch?v=og3D5UwxjU0. What does the character say that you agree with? What does he say that you disagree with?
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Connect with Others

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What is news? Go to the Drudge Report website (www.drudgereport.com) and find two articles that never became headline news. Why do you think these stories never made mainstream news? What does this tell us about what is thought of as news? Consider sharing the stories and your opinion on your Facebook page, Twitter, or in class with other students.

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