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President & CEO, Public Radio International (PRI)

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Who do you trust more to help you understand world events, the press, politicians or your friends/family, or someone/something else? Why?

I would like to know who/what, the TED community trusts most to give them the news, information and knowledge they need to follow and understand major events, live their lives successfully, be connected in their communities, and more generally understand our world. What are the trade offs of these sources as you view them? Do you have time to think about it?

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Closing Statement from Alisa Miller

Wow everyone. What a thoughtful set of postings -- Lindsay, special thanks to you for your ongoing comments and "facilitation" of the discussion. Excellent.

If I look across the responses, it seems the answer to "who we trust" to understand world events or topics that are global in nature is not an easy one. In our personal lives, the people we trust most are family and friends, but these people may not have the information or mastery we need. At the same time, there is great concern about a lack of transparency in our "news" and many have come to no longer trust of many information sources. So we need to curate on behalf of our own knowledge: a mix of family/friends, news and information sources, art music and culture, and other "lenses" too as we seek the truth of what is really going on in this interconnected world. New tools and services are emerging to help us with this effort. Your responses have inspired me. And at the end of June, I plan to launch a website, twitter feed, and Facebook page to continue this conversation, share tips and advice on how to better inform ourselves about the world through news and other content. I hope you might check it out. www.newsmakeover.com.

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  • Apr 26 2011: I am assuming or thinking that to "give me the news" you mean "the real truth" about what is in the news. Today, I trust very little, in the way of news and people who clothe their message with old, antiquated moralism. If I can find those who offer scientific data, that is free from moralism I have more trust in it and then I can check it out for myself, as I do research on what is in the news as best I am able. Scientific method is not the same as scientific opinion, which is no different from any other kind of opinion. It just presents the real, proven facts or results and then one can decide on a morality to apply or discern from it, if necessary. Most people I know today, pick up information and somehow "choose" what they decide to believe and proselytize. Most do no research and I know this because after I present the truth from my research, they get angry and dismissive of me. I look at a lot, read a lot and if you ask anyone who knows me, I talk a lot (too much). But no one wants to talk. That is very dangerous. My sister cannot talk about any of what is really going on. Friends are the same. My offspring, can't be bothered, they have too much on their plate or are trusting in "faith" that somehow it will all work out. When I take world events, and examine them from a perspective of what kinds of people are involved, the agencies, governments, and politicians, it becomes much easier. None of those listed have ever solved the problems us humans have. They almost are never telling the truth, and rarely if ever, do they follow through on any promises and if an individual doesn't believe those comments are true, then I don't know what to say. It isn't being pessimistic but just honest. They haven't. They don't, and over time we have proof that they will not. So, anything they are involved with is highly suspect. What concerns me more though, is that the people don't recognize this, admit it and get rid of it, all of it, for it doesn't work. Most refuse to listen
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      Apr 26 2011: a keeper y yolanda

      "Most people I know today, pick up information and somehow "choose" what they decide to believe and proselytize"

      I am adding this to my TED Best Quotes list. But the question I pose below to Alisa is framed from a place where I wonder if the absence of truth in what we are told is about what we would call intentional knowing lieing or whether our world has just gotten so big and so complex it's almost impossible to follow any one thread with clarity and certainty.

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