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Pandemic Moment: your guide to critically thinking about information

What's that sound...

Question Authority... but not right now, exactly...

Trusting the source

CBC is your trusted source for Covid-19

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has started using this message almost like a slogan and brand identifier.  However, the slogan is only partially true. Yes, the CBC is a trusted news source, but we should keep in mind that there are other trusted news sources as well.

I try to outlin a good critical thinking approach to news sources in the tabs below and in other parts of this guide.

In the news

It is natural to think of news sources as reliable points of contact for our curiosity, our research process, and our desire to learn the truth about things.  We should continue to think along these lines.  However, news sources practice the art of reporting, drawing and synthesizing information from primary sources and first-hand accounts of information. When a story is reported, it can sometimes have the effect of altering a more authentic picture.

To illustrate this point, three different news organization reported the following about cases in Ontario: (at the same point in time)

Even though these are minor differences, they do draw attention to this observation.

Beside gravitating to recognizable names, and names that sound familiar to you, (Toronto Star, CBC, Globe & Mail), it is useful to compare more than one source.  A truer picture may land somewhere in the middle.

Furthermore, news sources often mention their primary sources within the text of their reporting.  In the example above, the Toronto Sun refers to the "province's public health officials." 

So, why not keep your digital finger on this primary source?

Public Health Ontario


Here is what we can learn from Too Much Tongue Girl, a girl who does not shy away from hyperbole and soothsaying.

Reddit is not a go-to information source!

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