How to be an informed voter … (An Independent Voice Piece)

  By A. Zych

With the up and coming election a media firestorm has spread about the portrayal of the presidential candidates and their running mates. Unfortunately, the media’s hidden agendas that can often lead to distorted facts. Furthermore, with super PAC’s ads for both Democrats and Republicans bashing each other over and over with each commercial break. It’s no wonder that the average American voter can become confused and frustrated when trying to decipher what is fact or fiction.
What is more disturbing is the absence an ethical standard a simple element of Journalism 101 in which I learned in my first journalism class in high school. In fact the media’s only job should be to report legitimate facts that are relevant to the election such as a candidates’ policies concerning issues like our economy, healthcare and deficit among others and not to press one’s agenda.

With this obstacle in mind I’ve come up with some strategies to help people like myself to determine what elements of a new story is worthy of my attention and by adding some of my own investigative skills to determine if the piece of information checks out so I can decipher what Presidential candidate will be worthy of my vote in the November election.

For instance, when Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney announced that his running mate to be WI Representative, Paul Ryan no surprise a media frenzy began about his budget, Path to Prosperity and the notion that he would end Medicare as we know it!

So with this in mind I did a little research of my own and found out neither party has a concrete plan when dealing with the Medicare crisis however, in all fairness at least Ryan did have a future plan not to be implemented until 2024. I will not tell you my opinion of this plan but I feel that with the little research that I’ve done I have come to a conclusion and are much closer to a decision on how I am going to vote that November day.

Most importantly you ask of me how did you decipher your founding’s? Simple going back to the sources of news casts and other concrete direct sources such as the Affordable Health Care Act ( Very hard to understand, so long)and the Path to Prosperity (simple and but vague). So then taking my concerns into consideration I did some more research in unlikely places such as FOX and CNN news and HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher’s and Fox’s Sean Hannity, you may wonder why I chose this path for the most part I believe that the guest(s) and analyst (s) on these political programs have good information if you just listen closely. By choosing these diverse programs I am getting a wealth of information from both sides a fair and balance debate. In addition I’ve seen great work from Fox’s Chris Wallace and CNN’s Candy Crawley. So there still a great deal of ethical standard amongst some news journalists today.

To sum up, it is up to us to be an inform voter it is a shame that we can not depend on good journalism but with today’s technology we have access to a wealth of information. Just make sure you research the good sources. Below are some of my favorite sources to go to when question what is fact or fiction.

My Favorite Resources

Candidates Websites: This gives you their platforms and their future policies.

President Obama
http://www.whitehouse.gov/

Mitt Romney
http://www.mittromney.com

Ron Paul
http://www.ronpaul.com/

Other government resources
http://www.house.gov (Bills passed Affordable Care Act and other relevant information Path To Prosperity)
http://www.senate.gov ( Bills other relevant)
http://www.cbo.gov ( For numbers related to our deficit, budget’s, etc)

For local elections search the web make sure you look for .gov or org more legitimate source. If you do not have access to computer go to public libraries. Ask for help!

News networks and other media sources

Fox News and local affiliates
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/index.html

CNN News and local affiliates
http://www.cnn.com/POLITICS/

Other Political Programs
HBO Real Time with Bill Maher ( Check listings airs on Friday nights) or find on web – a more liberal tone but again be open minded sometimes a lot of good information.
http://www.hbo.com/real-time-with-bill-Maher/index.html

Sean Hannity on Fox airs every week day at 8 central on FOX News or find on web- more conservative keep an open mind as well a lot of great information.
Again these are my opinions of resources that I use again I try to check what I’ve learned to another source.

***Find a source that tailors to your ideology also stay away from the super PAC ads for either candidates.
Also if you have any other suggestions for sources I would love to hear them. Good luck and happy voting.

Quote for the day!
“Knowledge is Power!”
Kevin Tradeau

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One thought on “How to be an informed voter … (An Independent Voice Piece)

  1. Pingback: Election 2012 : Making a clear choice for America | SimpleNorthernLife

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