I'm a newbie and thought I'd do my first post! (Probably some vain attempt of community acceptance!)
Do people find that they have become so disheartened and untrusting of even the most tame of news headline, that they even fact check headlines that support their own belief bias?
YES, and I don't do it OFTEN ENOUGH. I believe it is called intelligence, BTW, as well. With all the propaganda out there on M$M, when one WANTS to be informed, fact checking with more than one alternative source is a must in my world. Thanks for being "vain", aka INVOLVED~ And welcome, I am a bit of a newbie on here, too. Be bold, why not ?!
There are several good sources of news that are now and always have been 99% reliable. But everyone has become their own publisher with "social media" and share the crap they pick up from others that freakin' made it up. This allows people to filter, invent and promote their own twisted angles with no repercussions. And for those other entities with far more evil intent to cheaply and quickly dominate the social media with intentionally-misleading garbage. It's up to us to fact-check and challenge the lazy fake-news spreaders. Here's a helpful guide. Not perfect, but helpful.
I think it's also the framing of the facts that makes a difference. The same known facts could be reported two different ways, eg.
"Burglar armed with a screwdriver is killed by elderly homeowner protecting his dementia suffering wife"
"Knife welding ex forces 72 year old chases down burglar who dies from the stab wounds in the street".
I do not find it to be fictional however it is glorified beyond the original account. For instant, the ICBM alarm was sounded in Hawaii a few months back the news kept making like Trump sounded the alarm. In reality on page 4 in tinny print, a worker at the destination site set the alarm off by accident.
When Reagan/Bush ended the "Fairness Doctrine", it let news covereage drift out ot extremist viewpoints, and without rebuttle, new sources put less effort into fact checking (Fox doesnt' do it at all), and so our news sources have becoem mroe liek super market tabloids.
About the only sources left for good factural reporting is ht eBBC or NPR, but they are slipping too.
I tend to believe news sources that report events in a strictly factual manner without a bias for either "side." I always check to see where any social media "news" post originated. If it's a well-known publication (e.g., WSJ, USA Today, NYT, NPR, BBC), I will read it. I discount articles posted by obviously slanted publications (e.g., Vanity Fair) even if I tend to agree with their opinions. I ignore anything from a site I don't recognize because I doubt that it will be unbiased and factual. Journalism, she ain't what she used to be.