“Open Source” is a real Intelligence tool, and it is exactly what the instructor, Sergeant Felton, says: anything you can find in the open without needing any special access. So news reports are the most common Open Source, with some being more trustable than others.
Technically, news media from the big news sources are supposed to be unbiased –that’s the stated tradition, at least, but it has almost never been the case. There used to be a phrase called “Yellow Journalism” or “the Yellow Press” and it was a catch-all term for very opinionated “news” created cheaply for mass consumption. It was hastily assembled, poorly researched and with minimal verification, and featured a lot of attention-grabbing fonts and pictures that today we would call “clickbait”.
Still, the big news corporations tend to have some facts behind their stories, if only so they can protect themselves from being sued (“We report the truth… from a certain point of view”). The best way to read mainstream media news is to read the same stories from different sites, bearing in mind that each site is reporting the same story from their own bias and looking critically at what they are reporting, how the phrase things, and ask yourself why they would choose to approach the subject from that point of view.
You then of course have editorial and opinion pages, blogs, current events commentators on YouTube or TikTok and other sites. Many times these people are very open about their opinions and points of view, so once again, you need to bear that in mind and look at other content creators with different opinions so you don’t get stuck in a loop of comforting agreement just because it is what you want to hear.
And at any time you’re reading a story, and you feel that “this is too good/too outrageous” then it probably is.
Of course, many organizations try to hide their biases and opinions, to varying degrees of success. Like anyone, they can be slick and convincing, or they can be clumsy and fumbling in their attempts. The Chinese government really did issue the statement I attributed to them in the comic, and certainly many people noted the irony as Chinese military aircraft overfly Taiwan and Chinese Navy ships sail about around the island with no regard for maritime boundaries.
Of course, the Chinese would probably deflect all this by saying that the Taiwan situation is “an internal Chinese matter” and has nothing to do with international boundaries or other countries… but most of the rest of the world, including the Taiwanese themselves, don’t fully see it that way.
Anyhow, always read the news with a critical eye and get other opinions, and see where the overlap is in the great cosmic Venn diagram of information.