The formation of facts
We are surrounded by facts. As social beings, we seek them, exchange them, check them and act upon them. We are al l report ers and we handl e l arge am ounts of dat a i n a systematic way. Yet we al so rely on s econd-hand messagss about the world beyond our social experience. These messages do not come to us innocently. The facts they report are not merely random fragments which we capt ure and st ore. They come to us i n patterns which are largely defined and packaged for US by the mass media.