Democracy can’t survive if Americans don’t make more effort to become better informed

By | November 19, 2019

Margaret Sullivan writes:

A lot of Americans don’t know much and won’t exert themselves beyond their echo chambers to find out.

This is the way a democracy self-destructs.

And what’s more, it’s not that difficult for American citizens to do much, much better.

Granted, the flow of news is unending — exhausting, even. And granted, there’s a lot of disinformation out there.

But apathy — or giving in to confusion — is dangerous.

“I’m terrified that the idea that it is all too much and it is okay to tune out is getting socialized as an acceptable response,” said Dru Menaker, chief operating officer of PEN America, the free-expression advocacy organization.

“Our country is being challenged to its very core, and we have an obligation to pay attention precisely because things are so overwhelming,” she told me by email.

I couldn’t agree more. And it’s not really all that hard to develop some constructive news habits.

It doesn’t take a research project into every claim and counterclaim. [Continue reading…]

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