Don’t take truth in news for granted, especially in this age of instant “journalism,” where any widely followed blogger can become a de facto trustworthy source for his or her readers. It’s on us, as consumers of news, to do our own research. We must self-curate all of the sources and determine for ourselves who is right, and who is wrong; which statistics are accurate, and which are misleading; which sources are biased, and which aren’t.
Otherwise, we will be lead astray by the age-old warning: “it is often better to be confidently wrong than timidly right.”
I believe that three recent examples bring proof to this opinion:
1. Tesla Motors Bricking. Blogger Michael Degusta has thousands of followers, and his vociferous complaint about a catastrophic battery drain issue in Tesla’s popular Roadster quickly took hold in mainstream news outlets. Tesla’s stock took a hit, because Tesla was instantaneously judged guilty in the court of public opinion. The problem? As Michael Nestler posted on Google+, the blogger may have had ulterior motives. And, it turns out that Tesla did nothing wrong, and in fact provides its owners with fair warning in the Owner’s Manual.
The moral of this story: please, please, please, read news broadly. Do your own research and make your own decisions. Nowadays, news consumption occurs instantly, and savvy networkers can easily become widely read journalists. Just because someone is loud and popular does not mean that their news is accurate.
Note: All opinions contained herein are my own, and not necessarily representative of my employer(s).