But that is hard on my blood pressure and has to carefully managed.
But at least you're transparent about that -- and it shows you've tried if you know the effect
I enjoy reading good articles from writers across the political spectrum. I resent paying for them if I know that I am going to be contributing to efforts to thwart my political preferences. Why would I, a Conservative-pro-tem, pay money that is going to end up, directly or indirectly, contributing to the Liberal campaign?
Very good point. The balance between knowing in detail what the other team is saying and not actively supporting their cause is an individual choice. Would I pay for access to Stormfront or rabble.ca? No. Does that mean these are the only places to find out what each side is saying? Not true -- there's all sorts of free access out there to the whole panoply of political thought (and both left
each have their own list o' good & bad sources). The usual "caveat lector" applies to all sources, of course.
The more activist, the more divorced from the general market.
But, referring back to your useful elephant graphic, they may be looking at parts of the elephant nobody else is because of their activism. If all media choose what they share and choose what they leave out, seeing that process with activist media is useful. Also, if you want to take the "know your enemy" philosophy seriously, it helps you better understand what glasses they're wearing when it comes time to counter their arguments/assessments.
For example, from my own geeky obsession, I read a lot of stuff about Ukraine from outside agencies/NGO's, from the Ukrainian and separatist governments, and Ukrainian, separatist and Russian media. Sometimes, something pops up in only one set of media, making one ask, "so, what's this about?" Could be fake news, could be something the other side ignores, could be partly true, whatever. Sometimes, in the old Soviet tradition, someone says, "hey, lookit what a great job we're doing to deal with x" when there's been no other media coverage of an x problem - hmm ... I know not everyone has the time to pick fly poop from ground pepper, but even if I'm in a hurry, I check out a few key outlets from all sides to get something triangulating into a "central tendency truthiness".
The word picture I like to use is a mosaic made up of lots of little tiles - or, if you're higher tech than me, a digital image made up of pixels. The more tiles/pixels you can see, the better idea you have of what the picture looks like. Not all information tiles/pixels are created equal, but the more tiles/pixels you can see, the better the aggregate result is.