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Be a Smart News Consumer

Ralph welcomes Allan C. Miller, Pulitzer Prize winning investigative reporter and the founder and CEO of the non-partisan News Literacy Project to discuss his work teaching young people how to be more discerning and discriminating consumers of news. Plus, Ralph answers your listener questions. 

Alan C. Miller is the founder and CEO of the News Literacy Project, a non-partisan education non-profit that provides educators and the public with tools to help them sift through information and determine what is real and what is not. He worked as an investigative reporter for nearly 30 years, winning a Pulitzer Prize for his series on the dangers of the Marine Corps’ Harrier attack jet.

“We encourage people to be skeptical. We encourage them to get a wide variety of sources of information, not just to go to one source or sources they’re likely to believe. And we encourage them to follow a story in the news over time. Because truth often is provisional. And it takes time for it to emerge.”

Alan C. Miller, Founder and CEO of the News Literacy Project

 

“For the first decade, we were focused on equipping educators to teach their students how to know what news and information to trust. And that’s still our primary mission at this point… But we realized, about a year and a half ago, that the existential challenge to democracy was really a crisis. And certainly the events of the last year, between the pandemic and the election and post- election, underscore that. And so we decided to create a group of resources for the general public as well.”

Alan C. Miller, Founder and CEO of the News Literacy Project

 

“If people do not go through life relying on facts and truth, they’re endangering themselves. They’re being very gullible to, say, advertisements that offer products that are dangerous to them… Or they support politicians who lie to them and then turn their back on them when they get into office…When you’re separated from reality in your day- to-day interactions, you really are living a highly risky existence. You can’t connect with reality. I mean, when you cross the street, you want to connect with reality, right? To make sure there are no cars coming.”

Ralph Nader

Ralph Nader Radio Hour Ep 379 Transcript (Right click to download)

8 Comments

  1. Don Harris says:

    You asked for examples of our representatives not being responsive to citizens with questions about important issues and only being responsive to citizens by doing case work. You wanted listeners to name names.

    The first name that comes to mind for me is Ralph Nader as you are one of the few in media that I feel represents me.

    There are many comments here on the Radio Hour website that document my efforts to get you to address One Demand, a way for citizens to work together on the common goal of getting big money out of politics, as well as the 10-24-2018 Washington Journal about b13 minutes in when you said you would have me on the Radio Hour to discuss One Demand but you have not done so yet or explained why you have changed your mind.

    Even when you mentioned my suggestion for a media conglomerate owned by ordinary citizens using the same basic financing model as One Demand you didn’t really comment on my suggestion you just compared it to the Audience Network idea ignoring the crucial difference that it could be done without legislation which is what made the Audience Network a non-starter.

    It seems your call for naming names of congressional representatives is doing case work instead of addressing an issue that could change the dynamics of our political system that has resulted in the need for the case work.

    There should be room for both.

    Please provide a positive example for other media by addressing this issue as you said you would on Washington Journal.

    I have not given up yet and have no intention of doing so despite the disappointment in the lack of response from you.

    This particular piece of case work should be easy for you to remedy.

  2. Tried twice to play the podcast. zip.

    • Skro35 says:

      Sorry to hear that. You’e the only one who has reported a problem. What device are you using? Maybe that has something to do with it. Have you been able to play the show before?

    • Bruce K. says:

      Try a different browser. Google Chrome browser i probably the most robust for different media.
      https://www.google.com/chrome/

      There is also FireFox and Brave.

      Another way to access these programs is through subscribing to their podcasts, or on YouTube’s Ralph Nader Radio Hour channel.

    • peter says:

      if. you are downloading it should be .mp3
      .zip is a compressed file

  3. Afdal Shahanshah says:

    You realize Trump isn’t in office anymore, right Ralph? That he no longer has that megaphone to deceive people? That now belongs to someone else. Time to start tackling the lies and disinformation peddled by Biden and his political machine?

    On the topic of news literacy, one general rule that has served me well over the years that has made me vastly more informed than others around me is that when some news rag makes a demonstrably false claim -I never trust them again without evidence behind a claim-. From then on, I always follow the citations of these sources which have discredited themselves, and if none are given, then it’s a safe assumption they’re peddling lies. For example, when Jeff Bezos’s rag several years back decided to smear dozens of independent progressive news outlets in their “PropOrNot” article as some sort of dupes of the Russian government, for having the sheer audacity to factual report on Hillary Clinton and the Democrats’ corruption, I could never take them seriously again. The idea that Bezos’s rag could be used as some sort of credible, objective authority on whether a politician said something factual or not is downright laughable. I’ve said it before but Ralph needs to find himself some better news sources.

    And it honestly sounds to me more like Alan Miller’s organization may actually be BI-partisan, rather than non-partisan. When he speaks of having people from both the Democrat and Republican parties on the board of directors, as if that’s a true span of the political spectrum, I couldn’t help but cringe. The first step to divorcing yourself from the bias and propaganda that comes out of the corporate press in favor of the major political parties is to understand that they only represent a very narrow set of politics. That’s part of how the press manufactures consent, by framing the world only in terms of the ruling parties’ politics. It’s at its most dangerous when both parties are complicit in the same misinformation.

    Biggest and most insidious lie ever peddled by corporate news press: that we now live in or have ever lived in anything resembling a democracy.

  4. David Faubion says:

    Thank you Ralph for your candid report about the folks in Congress and their staff snubbing you when you invite them to join you in conversation. Call it passive aggression because that is what it amounts to unless it is a freak breakdown of communication routing. Congress ought to avoid their unethical snubbing of constituents through a simple system of automated auto-contact via telephone and email. Use the telephone cue system, e.g., “Your wait
    time is approximately two minutes to speak directly to Senator Warren or one of her staff.” The Congressperson’s voicemail message should assure callers that they will be heard and receive a reply. Ralph, you are correct about this: Congress is failing in its basic role of responding to their employer: voters.

  5. Dale West says:

    Recall decades of public corporate disinformation to weaken tort law by reducing damages, blocking jury trials & obstructing citizen plaintiffs access to the court system. Without a redress for public facts & truths it is a bleak reality.

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