3. Respect good journalism. The “mainstream media” are clearly imperfect. At times writers’ biases are painfully obvious. And yet we should remember that mainstream media have checks and balances that many blogs and other alternate news sources do not. Writers are professionally trained to confirm any story with multiple sources before reporting it, and editors (needing to protect against lawsuits) hold journalists to this standard. What’s more, when a source like CNN gets something wrong, it makes the news, and they eventually correct themselves. The same doesn’t happen with obscure web sources for information. While we of course shouldn’t be uncritical (return to my previous points), Washington Post religion reporter Sarah Pulliam is right in arguing that we do ourselves and others a disservice when we roundly condemn the media.
Pursuing truth is costly: it takes effort, and it’s often messy. This is partly why this age of information overload is being called a “post-truth” age. The cynical question of Pontius Pilate, “What is truth?” could just as easily be asked by many today. Yet it’s important to remember that this question came as a response. “I have come into the world to bear witness to the truth,” Jesus had just declared to Pilate, and for this witness he would be crucified. Our calling is to follow in his footsteps, no matter the cost.