Early on, I saved a small bundle on hard copy subscriptions. Realizing that mainstream media was into ACDC was a bonus.
Of course, there remain honest folk in mainstream media. The trick is to know.
Someone smart said we need mainstream media to sort out the trash. True enough. Mainstream has to maintain at least the credibility and gravitas of a piece on its face. The troll and clickbait sites are uncovered soon enough, unless you’re too willing to be trolled.
So, what to do?
Find good friends and enemies. Find good people to follow.
What makes for “good?” It’s when they point you to something credible, or hint that something is unduly biased. Those with opposing views are best because you have to work against your own grain.
In the end, free expression is just a clause that works when people think.