With the start of August, I began a new 30 Day Challenge to get informed. My inspiration for this challenge came from a couple different places. During my last 30 Day Challenge- Plastic Free July I learned a lot about how to reduce my plastic consumption and how to reduce my overall carbon footprint. Through that challenge, I felt inspired to continue to learn more about things that I am passionate about like environmental issues and conservation efforts. I also want to focus this month on getting more informed to try and make sense of current events and local/national politics.
For this challenge, I started by making a list of some specific topics that I want to learn more about to become more informed.
- Media Sources- accuracy, biases, and research
- Preparation for Primary/General Mid-Term elections and Research on Candidates
- Local and State Issues and Policies
- Current Events
- Historical Trends (politics, events, societal influences)
- Climate Change- Effects, Research, and Impacts
- Environmental Issues and Impacts
- Recycling Efforts
Part of this process has been to better understand the information we are exposed to on a daily basis to try and assess where biases exist in media and how to try and best interpret all of the readily-available information.
For this effort, I started by doing a mini-experiment where I tracked the headlines of the main cable news networks for 3 days. From there, I compiled the headlines into individual word clouds. While, this is by no means hard-hitting research, it definitely helped expose some of the biases each network has.