Pegging the bias-credibility meter — Persuasive

Featured image from Mike Rowe Facebook posting. will link you to the Profoundly Disconnected site.

Social media’s feed of information snapshots is addictively empowering. Who doesn’t feel that they can find out anything they’d like to know about after entering a few keywords into a search engine? I regularly click on items that range from the scientific to the crafty. I recently clicked to a  Journal Sentinel business-section article shared by a Facebook friend. The feelings of dread that followed served as a reminder to acknowledge and mind my seventh sense when clicking through.

The article was about a new facility in the Madison Area Technical College system and the launch of a paid tuition program for unemployed Wisconsinites with an interest in gaining preliminary certification in welding at the Mequon campus facility. My interest was piqued because I am interested in the promotion of learning, wide-ranging applications for all individuals, and the movement to destigmatize working-class identified jobs.

A sense of ick spread from my core as I read. I had to ask myself, “Why is this story bothering you?” My answer, “Because data is missing and it seems to have been intentionally omitted.”

My bias-credibility meter was pegged. My seventh sense had taken a backseat to my information addiction. Meter readings after the click-through are a valuable consideration when part of our information diet.

What does your meter tell you when you click through?

You can find the article here:

MATC offers free welding classes, but Mequon campus has few takers so far

Do you think that the tone of this piece implies imminent failure of the initiative?

Are both sides of the endeavor addressed?

Is the reader offered information about the long-term planning and initiatives of which this certification program might be a part?

Is a political agenda at play?

Did the article cover details regarding national demand for this trade skill?  Does the reader know if students choose this program beyond the qualification of an unemployed status?

What is the tone of the M.A.T.C. dean’s responses? Is he portrayed as a dynamic, strategic planner?

Do you find the input from a local employer (Super Steal representative) valuable? He’s quoted regarding their training program’s emphasis on essential life skills and that he would like M.A.T.C. to include such training so people don’t, “Wash out.”

Was the article an information wash out?

Indulge me while I self-adjust my personal bias-credibility meter closer to dead center with this blog from Mike Rowe’s Profoundly Disconnected Foundation website.

Welding is a $100,000 job!?

Thank you for sharing your meter readings in the comments section.


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