Since it’s the New Year, it’s only fair that I explain the kinds of thing I post and don’t post. I try to post links to articles that give a broad or somewhat different take on current events. But I follow a variety of accounts on Twitter and a number of feeds on feedly, which is where I get most of my links from.
Twitter is, or, more precisely, the experts, reporters, and interesting people I follow, are a raw news feed. I see New York Times and Washington Post articles and the educated and random thoughts of a wide variety of people. Everyone retweets reliable and unreliable stuff. I don’t post links here unless I find them reliable. I may retweet links that are interesting, even if I’m not sure they’re reliable.
I don’t agree with every sentence of every link I post. I often, but not always, note disagreements.
I may breach any and all of these rules for something I think is important or interesting, or if I can confirm with other sources. I usually indicate strong disagreements or reservations about reliability.
Too down in the weeds: I try to stay away from extremely detailed information, like the current goings-on with the mayor of Petrozavodsk, in the Russian province of Karelia. If you are interested in that kind of detail in Russia, Paul Goble covers it very well. I link to his articles when they give valuable background or summarize a group of events.
From biased sources: This would include sources with the same bias as mine. I tend to agree a lot with Goble, so I am cautious in sharing his posts. I’m as subject to confirmation bias as anyone, but I try to fight it. The major newspapers are usually relatively unbiased, with notable exceptions like David Sanger at the New York Times. I am extremely cautious about the Wall Street Journal, The Daily Beast, Politico, LobeLog, and others that have proved biased in the past. Beyond the pale: Washington Free Beacon, Drudge.
Stuff that isn’t confirmed. On Twitter, videos and photos start appearing early of an incident like this weekend’s attack on the Saudi Embassy in Teheran. I was glad to see people I follow asking whether the photos were authentic. All too often, they aren’t. Even I get taken in every once in a while and retweet something that isn’t true. But it takes a little longer to write a blog post, and I usually realize by then that another post or a news article needs confirmation. If you’re looking for the very earliest news, you won’t find it here.
Stuff that tries to predict the unpredictable. Often this is just someone wanting to say later “I told you so.” More often wrong than right.
Stuff that I figure you’ve seen already. This includes big news stories, unless a particular article has an unusually helpful approach, or more context than usual.
Stuff that’s clearly wrong. Unless I’m using it as a bad example.
Stuff that I tweet and then forget. Sorry. It doesn’t hThe consequence of operating on multiple platforms. You can follow me on Twitter at @CherylRofer.