If you've been watching the news in the last few days, you are sure to be aware of the Gun Rights Rally held in Richmond, VA. And, depending on which news you watch, your ideas of what happened, who attended, what the rally was about, and how it proceeded could be radically different than the person next to you at work.
And on the other, it was a diverse and peaceful rally to show the state government of the Commonwealth of VA to not intrude further on Constitutional Rights.
And while I definitely fall on the side of the latter, I cannot think of a better real-time example of the value of not just information, but trusting the sources, evaluating bias, and the value of collecting information from other, opposing sources and viewpoints in order to make good decisions for your survival in the urban area.
The value of good intelligence
In the USE&E approach, information and intelligence (in the military sense, not the intellectual sense) are some of the most valuable things we can have. It helps us make decisions, lets us see what may be happening in our world that we need to prepare for, and gives us a view of enemies, allies, neutral parties, resources, and other things to make our lives better.
The first rule of intelligence gathering is to listen to it all, but believe none of it until you can verify it independently. This is especially true when you are inclined to trust the source.
A popular saying in old journalism schools is; "If your mother says she loves you, verify it with three sources." This goes double for life-saving or actionable intel. As much as you might like a radio host, you should take their information at face value until you can get it from a few different sources.
There are a few reasons why.
What is the reason for the information?
In a mass media endeavor, information is not the prime reason for a show. Advertisers are.
There is a certain alternative host that is known as the greatest water filter salesman in history, and this is for a reason. No matter what knowledge he puts out, his primary job is delivering for advertisers.
It doesn't mean his information is wrong or right, it means you need to take it for what it is, and get other, corroborating stories that will either prove or disprove it.
Look out for willful disinformation and propaganda
The next category is watching out for willful disinformation. This is probably the most common and rampant occurrence when seeking sources. The cause is usually easy to see if you can maintain a neutral viewpoint as you are consuming the news or information.