Fighting a Stigma
I do my best to skim the surface of news sources from across the entire spectrum. As I do this I try to pay attention to the types of ads that are on each site, the ways that their articles are displayed, and the general tone (shock jock vs neutral) to get a general topical and visual idea of what the news looks like. This sets a sort of rubric for interactions that I have with patrons throughout the day. I know to expect both extremes, and do my best to keep a balance between agreed upon facts, and the tiers of rumors mixing with opinions that eventually spirals out into disinformation. I interact with a lot of patrons who use social media as their primary source of information. When it's appropriate, I initiate conversations about online safety, and machine logic to discuss behavior. This works with adults and teens to help explain things like when people's facebooks get hacked by Lululemon, or when peoples phones seem to be listening to them.
I'm always trying to site sources conversationally; 'where'd they hear that?' 'I glazed a headline on ... that said...', 'cnn alleges that...'. this reminds me to assess my sources more frequently.
While I try to stay within sources that I encounter and trust professionally, members of the community that I work in access information that lies outside of this wheelhouse.
I wonder if librarians' role is to help our communities de-stigmatize the contexts surrounding news sources. Maybe it's to engage people with information from across an appropriate information spectrum.