I got in a discussion with a friend recently. She said she and her husband had almost quit watching the news altogether because she didn't trust any of the media sources She thinks they blow up stories to create headlines. She believes there is nowhere to find the truth.She thinks they both "spin" their side.
I disagree. You don't have to get your facts from the mainstream media or the right-leaning media either one. There are lots of other official sources you can rely on.
First, though, people have to decide what they are voting on, what their core values are. And I don't mean simply quoting the party line or your church's line, I mean deciding for yourself what your biggest concerns are. I'd suggest making a list of six issues that are most important to you.
Mine would be; climate change and the environment, health care, education, a woman's right to exercise her own authority over her body,, equal rights for all Americans, caring for the vulnerable. None of these may even be on your radar screen but that's for you to decide.
After that, the trick is to see if your representatives are actually supporting your core values. For instance, you can watch C-Span to see how they actually vote and how they explain those votes. Did the Republicans just pass a bill that once again, gives insurance companies the ability to discriminate against those of us with pre-existing conditions? (Yes, they did). This concern you greatly if you have a child with a serious medical problem.
You can go and see various reports on the internet - from scientists, from professors, from government officials, from doctors. They won't all agree, of course, but what is the consensus of the professionals? When it is in the 90 percent range, (as with climate change), you might want to give their views some weight.
Governmental reports will give you actual statistics about prison populations and how they are divided as to race and how much they cost us, how many police officers were killed in the line of duty and how many unarmed citizens were killed by cops, what does the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office predict about the deficit?
There are a myriad of subjects but you'll probably want to narrow it down to your core concerns, else you'll get lost in statistics. Granted, going through all this is more work than simply listening to Fox or MSNBC but maybe you'll find out some facts you don't know. When you compare what you've learned to what the news is saying, maybe you'll find that there are some sources who consistently seem to present honest news - whether it is the Christian Science Monitor, the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal.
It is on you as a citizen to dig for the truth.