Truth has become an elusive commodity - we are living in the era of post truth. To be completely truthful, for all of human existence facts have always teetered on the edge of extinction in the world of power and politics. There may have been more public integrity and honesty in the past but recent politicians and the advent of open, unmediated social media have opened the floodgates of fake news with truth difficult to discern among the steaming piles of lies and deception.
Many of us have come to expect that news is free but everything has a price. Free news manipulates emotion, fuels outrage and allows our opinions to be manipulated by others seeking power, influence and ultimately wealth. Easily manipulated images are combined with simple but effective phrases to ignite emotions of fear and anger. We flock like sheep to news sources that support our opinions. Our worldview is rarely influenced by thoughtful analysis but more often based on how we were raised, positive and negative life experiences, and the opinions of those in immediate community.
Few of us read widely or deeply but we need to read more now than ever. We need to financially support news sources that truly investigate, analyze and report all sides of an issue. With things we truly care about, we may need to look for the truth on our own - peer reviewed journal articles if they are available. If they are not available, we have to learn to understand that what we are seeing, reading or hearing is just opinion - interesting but not factual.
The truth will always be elusive but we need to do the hard work of looking for it.