TED Conversations

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?


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 25 2011: Who helps me understand World events? Are you asking me who is my shepherd and what flock I belong to?

    Here is my view said as a famous prayer:
    "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, And wisdom to know the difference."

    From this prayer I derived the following algorithm to handle events around me:
    1. Does it affect me or my interests?
    2. If "No" go to END.
    3. Is the effects of the event bad for me or my interest?
    4. If "No" go to 9.
    5. Can I minimise or reverse its impact on me or my interests?
    6. If "No" go to END.
    7. Take action to minimise or reverse the effects of the event.
    8. Go to END.
    9. Can I maximise its impact on me or my interests?
    10. If "No" go to END.
    11. Take action to boost the effects of the event on me and my interests.

    What I really hate is when news of world events are pounded on me by people that get paid to do it or benefit in some way when doing it.

    So the first question I ask when I hear something is, "How the one that brings me the news is invested in it and who is influencing him?".
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      Apr 26 2011: sounds quite selfish :(
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        Apr 28 2011: It sounds selfish, but you can also see it as being responsible. If everyone really looked after him- or herself in the most optimal way, instead of meddling with other people, a lot would be easier. True happiness and wellbeing is contagious and overflowing. A fulfilled individual contributes to mankind's wellbeing just by setting an example.

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