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Media report card 

Street Smarts

Sorting through all the information available to us as citizens is difficult — more so in this noisy, tech-driven day and age. So how do folks choose their news, and where do they see room for improvement in the media?

click to enlarge Nico Perez
  • Nico Perez

Nico Perez of Rockrimmon is a musician.

How do you determine which news sources you use? I think each of them has a cost. You just use your best judgment, everyone has bias towards something. Try and sift through that as best you can.

How do you identify the bias? Take each with a grain of salt and try not to approach things with anger. I really believe both sides mean what they say and are trying to do their best.

What do you think the role of the media is in the public? It feels like it is changing, which is concerning. I think the biggest thing I see is that it's very fear-driven and it makes people afraid and afraid of each other. There is no doubt there is a lot of division because of ideas. It's tough.

Do you think the current presidential administration approaches the news differently than administrations in the past? There is part of it that is a little refreshing because it isn't so uniform. It is nice being told what we want to hear, but there is a part of me that thinks that being a little uncomfortable isn't the worst thing in the world. It makes us look inward.

Have you had any experience with "fake news"? I feel like everything on the internet is that. Isn't it interesting how quickly we just believe things? Facebook is pretty hilarious. People just read something and believe it, it becomes truth. We have got to be smarter than this, we have to poke at everything. ... Daily I look at stuff and it is like Michael Jackson returned from the dead and I saw him in Cuba.

click to enlarge Kendall Conner
  • Kendall Conner

Kendall Conner of Austin Bluffs and Academy is a stay-at-home mom.

Do you think the media has a role when it comes to informing the American public on things? I do. I go to the news for everything. If I see a whole bunch of police cars, the first thing I go to is to their social media and web pages and usually I can find out what is going on. I am always counting on the news to get my information.

Do you have any experience with "fake news"? Probably. Because it is on social media, stories get turned around all the time or some news channel has gone and just said what they thought was going on before they knew what actually happened.

Do you think there is information being withheld now that you would like to hear more about? I am sure there is a bunch of stuff they just haven't been able to get to, because there is a lot of stuff going on in the world, but I think they are doing the best they can and I know I feel safe going to them.

Is there anything you think could be improved in the way we receive news in the United States? Personally, I think what they are doing is a great job. Maybe focus more on important topics rather than silly ones, but I think overall they are doing a great job updating people all the time.

click to enlarge Tracy Colvin
  • Tracy Colvin

Tracy Colvin lives east of downtown and is in the medical field.

How do you determine which news sources you hear, read or listen to? I try to find the ones that I believe don't have what I consider frivolous news. I don't care about the Kardashians — none of those things pertain to me. I really live in my community and my state and I want to know what is going on here. I don't care if so-and-so had an affair with the neighbor down the street.

What do you think the role of news is in particular when it comes to American politics? At this point in my life I listen more now than ever, which is probably why I focus on what pertains to me. I don't want it to be hateful. I want it to be respectful. I spent a lot of time the last couple of years paying more attention and I depend on the news sources to help me become more educated. If there is something I didn't know, I am a pretty open-minded person, if I need to change my mind, then please give me the tools.

Have you any experience with "fake news"? Oh, gosh, I have 20-year-old children, of course. I am very much about the facts and I want to know them. I hope that everyone wants truthfulness. I want to have a nice conversation, but I have found that is very, very hard to do. I find not as many people are stuck on the facts as I am. Most people don't want to go on what the facts are, they want to go with what is emotional for them. I understand that point of view, but that is a point of view, not reality and that is where I get stuck.

What do you think we can improve in the way Americans receive news? I think we need to cut back on garbage news like we do candy. ... People aren't going to pick up something different when it isn't there and they aren't used to it. ... How do we encourage a younger individual going to college to pay whatever it is to read The New York Times when they can read all of the trash for free?

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