Cynicism: “I don’t believe these news reports because they critique or reflect poorly on those in my political tribe.”

Discernment: “Of course, I have my convictions and my loyalties, but everyone, including me, is capable of doing wrong.”

Cynicism: “The problem is clearly that these media outlets have an agenda against my tribe. You can’t trust them.”

Discernment: “Bias is real, but everyone has it, including me. The question is not whose saying what, but what’s true.”

Cynicism: “Why should I believe people like The New York Times or the Washington Post when they clearly are trafficking in ideology? Their goal is political, not objective.”

Discernment: “Major media institutions are not immune to agendas or slanted reporting. But they are established, respected outlets for many reasons, and the vast majority of those reasons are not agenda-specific.”

Cynicism: “What we need is to create a counter-industry of conservative journalism that fair-minded people can consult as an alternative to mainstream liberal media.”

Discernment: “What we need is accuracy and truthfulness. Who is running which outlet is not nearly as important as this. Accountability doesn’t always mean more options.”

Cynicism: “Unless we consolidate around new media, we will lose political and cultural battles.”

Discernment: “Journalism actually doesn’t have much influence on culture. It just feels like it does to people who spend a lot of time in a very specific slice of life.”

Posted by Samuel James

Samuel D. James serves in the Office of the President at the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. You can follow him on Twitter @samueld_james.