Statistics: What media to¬†trust?
Since the¬†Russia-Ukraine conflict, most media have become opinionated and¬†taken one of¬†the¬†two sides. Some media judged one of¬†the¬†sides without having enough proof, which does not¬†correspond to¬†the¬†presumption of¬†innocence. Conflict-participating countries enforced censorship. Posting videos with military groups is illegal. Whom then to¬†believe?
I found reliable sources based on¬†historical reliability and¬†bias¬†‚Äď the¬†declination to¬†the¬†left or¬†right party. The¬†information is based on¬†statistics:
Reuters is a¬†London-based news agency with 2500 employees founded in¬†1851 (170 years ago). ‚ÄúReuters Connect‚ÄĚ has a¬†partnership with 17 news agencies, still including TASS (Russian state-owned media). Reuters has a¬†reputation as¬†the¬†neutral (bias of¬†-1.83 to¬†the¬†left side, for¬†example, NBC News, PBS, and¬†CNN have a¬†bias from -5 to¬†-8) and¬†highly reliable (48 out of¬†64 points) source. Reuters is free to¬†use.
The¬†company adfontesmedia made a¬†report about Reuters, where Reuters was treated as¬†a¬†reliable but¬†a¬†middle-biased source.
Popular western sources, based on¬†parameters form Adfontesmedia.
|Media name||Country||Reliability < 64||Bias||Party|
|Wall street journal||US||45.35||5.17||Right|
The¬†most reliable sources, based on¬†statistics, appeared to¬†be on¬†the¬†left party, The¬†most unbiased are Reuters and¬†AP news.
If you want to¬†find another reliable resource, use Adfontesmedia Interactive Media Bias Chart¬ģ, that compares 1662 sources based on¬†the¬†bias and¬†reliability score.
Note, the¬†Adfontesmedia was criticized by¬†the¬†Association of¬†College and¬†Research Libraries and¬†others, meaning that the¬†statistics can also be biased.
The¬†live map of¬†events
liveuamap.com is a¬†map of¬†events developed by¬†Ukrainian software engineers from Dnipro Rodion Rozhkovskyi and¬†Oleksandr Bilchenko. Although Ukrainians manage the¬†website, it is a¬†trustworthy resource with constant and¬†fast updates. I have been using the¬†website daily since the¬†24th of¬†February. Unfortunately, liveuamap.com mentions all Russian news as¬†propaganda and¬†relies mainly on¬†western media.
Telegram is the¬†leading news platform nowadays. The¬†media can post violent content, videos from different angles, and¬†freedom to¬†write anything without censorship. Such freedom attracts young people and¬†citizens of¬†conflict states. Hundreds of¬†Russian and¬†Ukrainian telegram channels have millions of¬†subscribers each.
But¬†most of¬†the¬†channels are anonymous. That means¬†‚Äď no¬†one has a¬†responsibility for¬†the¬†words said. Enormous influence and¬†impunity (being unpunished) make the¬†owners extremely powerful. For¬†example, no¬†one knows who owns Ukrainian channels, such as¬†‚ÄúReal Kyiv‚ÄĚ or¬†‚ÄúF***ing Kiyv,‚ÄĚ and¬†channels with other cities in¬†the¬†title. These channels spread nationalistic and¬†extremist information. These channels want Ukrainians to¬†hate ethnic Russians and¬†also Russian citizens. Such sources escalate the¬†war.
Ukrainians are subscribed to¬†tens of¬†such channels. Ukrainians spend their free time reading the¬†news. The¬†majority of¬†the¬†channels bring the¬†same information, and¬†some provide opinions. Opinions are scary¬†‚Äď a¬†person can claim any opinion and¬†forecast anything. In¬†stressed situations, people believe in¬†any lie. The¬†problem is if the¬†media keep posting lies for¬†a¬†long time, then everyone believes in¬†a¬†lie. Such lies happen on¬†Russian TV channels¬†‚Äď that is why this is the¬†least reliable source. People who regularly listen to¬†other people‚Äôs opinions stop thinking, and¬†they rely on¬†others. People lose control over themselves.
Help with the¬†mind
Read facts, Reduce opinions. People want to¬†keep updated, moreover if the¬†theme concerns them. People read news agencies, youtube bloggers, and¬†telegram channels. The¬†media also shares opinions and¬†experts‚Äô thoughts. Every opinion is biased and¬†based on¬†experience.
The¬†same fact or¬†an¬†event is commented on¬†by¬†thousands of¬†influential experts. Reliable experts have own view on¬†a¬†situation¬†‚Äď they have a¬†plan of¬†action. Reliable experts are well educated and¬†they project a¬†situation that they have before in¬†the¬†future and¬†current events. Listening to¬†2-3 experts, who have different strategies may help to¬†educate yourself. Listening to¬†tens of¬†experts weekly makes a¬†person anxious and¬†costs time.
For¬†example, I am interested in¬†economics and¬†people‚Äôs lives. I chose 4 channels, where I consume information (in¬†Russian): @market_tweets posts economic, stock market facts, graphs, and¬†governors‚Äô quotes. @Varlamov posts videos about people‚Äôs lives and¬†documentaries about different themes. Dengi_ne_spyat (Tinkoff bank media) posts 2 videos about the¬†stock market weekly¬†‚Äď aggressive and¬†conservative investors with 20-year knowledge tell about stock markets based on¬†news, data, speakers, and¬†experience. Reuters posts trustworthy articles.
If a¬†person subscribes to¬†tens of¬†channels, he will be lost in¬†opinions. He will spend all his free and¬†working time keeping updated. I was in¬†such a¬†situation at¬†the¬†beginning of¬†a¬†conflict.
In¬†the¬†end, a¬†person burns out. A¬†person becomes angry or¬†scared, and¬†he can make hasty (rash, unthoughtful) decisions.
If the¬†event is not¬†escalating, you lose interest in¬†it. For¬†example, if ten soldiers were killed last week, you would be astonished and¬†expect more. If today, hundred of¬†the¬†soldiers were killed, you would be even more curious to¬†know what happened. But¬†if next week there will be 5-10 deaths, you will lose interest in¬†this event.
News agencies want you always to¬†be astonished¬†‚Äď they increase the¬†importance of¬†each following event. Remember how news agencies talked about killing a¬†couple of¬†civilians, Mariupol, Chornobyl, exploding of¬†a¬†hospital, theater, Bucha, train station, ship sunk¬†‚Äď each event was seen as¬†a¬†bigger and¬†bigger event. But¬†no¬†one cares nowadays about the¬†tank explosions and¬†deaths of¬†tens of¬†civilians. News agencies will do whatever they can to¬†escalate the¬†conflict; otherwise, people forget about the¬†event.
News agencies are real winners in¬†this conflict. They have got huge influence: new readers, paid subscribers, more time spent on¬†a¬†website. News agencies became rich due to¬†advertisements and¬†paid subscriptions. They don‚Äôt want you to¬†leave but¬†keep you updated for¬†the¬†long term.
My team from the¬†Vienna University of¬†Business and¬†Economics and¬†I made a¬†presentation and¬†a¬†paper about fake news¬†‚Äď types of¬†fake news, history, how to¬†spot and¬†prevent spreading fake news.