“What if we had a nutrition label for the news?”

Been trying to eat a little healthier lately. Nothing dramatic, but less sugar intake, more water drinking, all that sort of obvious things. This is still a big step for me though, considering my upbringing. If you grew up with four siblings in a big extended family like I did, you must know what I mean by “Conviviality is the best appetiser”. (Or, to put it another away, there was a shared understanding that we couldn’t afford to be picky about food. It would be gone any minute. ;)) Plus, my parents and grandparents were never strict about our diets, often telling us that one’s body knows best about what one needs to eat. Almost all food cravings and between-meal snacks were justifiable.

Enough with my childhood and health philosophy. For the first time in my life, however, I am now starting to read nutrition facts labels. Kind of unexpected fun, as some of them seem to actually make an effort to mislead shoppers. Anyway, this activity reminds me of a project that I came across (via @capcold) a couple of months ago and bookmarked away: NewsRDI.

Drawing upon ideas from The Information Diet by Clay A. Johnson (2012) – such as the label above or an obesity analogy – a group of MIT researchers set out to help people visualise their media diets and create a nutrition label for the news. It says the platform is under active development, something I think I am going to enjoy following.

+ Duh! I forgot to mention a comparable Korean initiative called Factoll. It is a not-for-profit organisation. On its website, a group of anonymous journalists walk you through latest news articles by separating “barebone facts” from the meat of views, opinions and speculations.


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