Which News Sources Can Be Trusted? – BTN Media Literacy
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Which News Sources Can Be Trusted? – BTN Media Literacy


I need to know about your source. Hm!? Sshhhhh! Your source. I need to know where I can
find your source. Oh! Ketchup? Chilli? It’s time to talk sources, and no, not this kind. A journalist’s sources
are much more important. In fact, you could say
they are the main ingredients of any news story. A source is basically anyone or
anything that provides information, whether it’s an eyewitness… WAITRESS: Table seven… ..an expert, a report, an email, or a video. We tend to divide those sources
into two groups – primary and secondary. Primary sources provide direct
and firsthand information. So if you wanted a primary source
on, say, sauce, you’d talk to this guy. He made it so he can tell you
how it was put together and exactly what’s in it. Lots of salt. Then you’ve got
your secondary sources. They take information and interpret
it, evaluate it and discuss it. Oh, yuck! That’s disgusting. This guy didn’t actually
make the sauce or see it being created, but he can still provide us
with information about it. There’s too much salt in this! Again, Boris! How many… Ugh! Often news stories use a variety
of sources – primary and secondary. But the quality of those sources
can vary a lot. (COUGHS DISCREETLY) And it’s up to us as news consumers to be aware of where our news
is coming from and not just follow
what we’re served up. You’re not taking that
to customers, are you? Take this headline, for example. “Zombie Attack Imminent.” Sounds pretty alarming, right? But before you start stockpiling
weapons and canned food, take a closer look at the source. (TENSE MUSIC) (KNIFE BEING SHARPENED) Who says the zombies are coming? Who said that? If it’s Nigel here,
maybe don’t panic just yet. He’s not exactly an expert. Yeah, but I spend a lot of time
on the internet. Uh, that doesn’t count, Nigel. He doesn’t have the evidence
or the expertise to know that hordes of undead will soon be trying to feast
on our sweet, juicy brains, and he really shouldn’t be quoted
as a credible news source. Now, if this same story came
from an expert source – say, someone who’s spent
his or her life studying possible world-ending
scenarios like zombie apocalypses – then you can take it
a bit more seriously. It appears to be a mutated form
of LQP85 virus. Take this source, for example. An acute to a persistent
infection… He’s got a coat and some letters
after his name, so he’s probably smart. But that alone doesn’t make him
a good source. What he really has going for him
is that he’s an expert in the exact field that this story
is about – zombie viruses. To sufficient cell density. Now, over here are the host subjects which I infected with the virus
earlier. That’s curious. I’m sure there were two rats here
this morning. Wait, what? Still, he’s only one source
and he might not be right. There’s no need to panic. Unless, of course, he’s backed up
by other credible sources. (ZOMBIES SNARL)
(SCREAMS) AAARGH! Zombies! So if you’ve got multiple sources with expertise and authority
on the issue, and they agree on something… ..then it’s much more likely
to be true than if you hear it
from just one source. I told you! I TOLD you! (SCREAMS) Paying close attention to
news sources can help you know whether or not the news
you’re reading is reliable. But the truth isn’t always
as obvious as flesh-eating zombies. Oi! You’ll often find stories
with multiple credible sources that just don’t agree. And to a woman with two cats… But first we cross to a man
with a dog for a face. And there could be good reasons
for that. It might be that there’s
genuine academic debate. As I’ve been saying for years, it’s clear that video games are
turning our children into zombies. I think you’ll find it’s television that’s turning our young people
into zombies. Well, that’s what YOU say. Or maybe sources clash because
the science isn’t quite in yet. Here’s a cytoplasm.
Looks like LQP85 to me. But of course we’ll have to run
some more tests to be sure. I think you’ll find
it’s actually a microbiome. We see a characteristic… Or it could be that sources
are offering opinions, not facts, and in that case, journalists should
provide multiple points of view. I think the zombies
are actually pretty awesome and, like, I’ve been getting ready
for this for, like, years. I think these zombies
are just here to take our jobs. It’s a zombie invasion. I know he’s a zombie
but we’re very much in love. Stop…stop…stop it. We just got married.
It was a beautiful wedding. Of course, he ate my parents.
But what are you gonna do? After all, it’s not a journalist’s
job to decide what the truth is. It’s his or her job
to report on the truth. But when it comes to sources, you should be aware of something
called false equivalence. That’s when the news presents
arguments from different sources in a way that makes them seem
equally valid even when they’re not. Hello and welcome back to
False Equivalence. I’m Don Worthington. Joining me to talk about the zombie
apocalypse is forensic pathologist from the Centre of Disease
Control, Dr Lisa Larken. Hi. And newspaper columnist and noted
zombie sceptic, Amanda Boloff. Amanda.
I’m gonna stop you right there, Don. Clearly this whole zombie outbreak
is just a myth that’s been created by the
fake media and the government. What? Are you kidding? They’re everywhere. We can’t even leave the studio. Sure, Lisa. That’s fine. You tell yourself that
in your echo chamber. We can’t leave the studio! La-la-la. Stand-by, camera three. (SNARLING) (CAR HORN BLARES, ZOMBIE SNARLS) The Australian public needs to
listen to people with qualifications, like me. 98… You also need to be aware
of biased sources which might have their own reasons
for saying what they say, perhaps because they have some kind
of affiliation with the people, company or…brain-eating creatures
in the story. Plain and simple, it’s science. Well, if the zombies do exist then
they deserve to be given a fair go. Just a bit peckish. Wait – what!?
Are you eating brains? No! It’s…sushi. That’s why it’s important
to know as much as possible about your sources. But if what your source
is anonymous? Hey! Anonymous sources are people
who provide information to journalists on the condition
their identities stay secret. MAN: Were you followed?
I don’t think so. Did you bring the documents? There can be really good reasons
for a source to want to stay anonymous. You know I could lose my job
for this. Some really big and really important
stories have been uncovered thanks to an anonymous tip-offs. But they can also be dodgy. After all, if someone’s
not going on the record, there are fewer consequences
for them if they get it wrong. There have been times
when journalists have reported anonymous tip-offs
without checking up on them and got the story very wrong. Are you sure this is true? And finally, let’s talk crap. (TOILET FLUSHES) CRAP stands for: And it’s a good thing to remember
when you’re assessing sources. Currency. Think about how recent
the information is. Reliability. Is it from a primary
or secondary source? And are they reliable? Authority. How much do you really know
about the source? Are they an authority on the issue? Purpose. Think about why the source
is giving you the information. Are they biased? Is it fact or opinion? So remember to think about sources
when you’re consuming news. It’ll make you smarter,
more informed, and ultimately more…satisfied. Captions by Red Bee Media Copyright Australian
Broadcasting Corporation

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