“Journalism” is considered a funny word today; most purported journalism occupies a blurry space between evenhanded, independent reporting and promotional content masquerading as real news or education. This is particularly true when it comes to best practices around psychedelic substances or “medicine.” Stories that speak to a specific movement or trend are often colored by the writer or publication’s relationship to the subject matter, while educational material might be filtered through the lens of a particular lineage or methodology. The onus then falls on the reader to determine what qualifies as straightforward content, and what carries the baggage of bias.
For a psychedelic naive audience, including those who are not already exposed to the psychedelic space or have experience with these substances, it can be almost impossible to recognize what’s reliable fact from what the writer fancies or is selling. Acknowledging this central, if understated, tension in the media landscape, at Lucid News we seek to apply a traditional journalistic approach to psychedelic education.
Drumroll. Enter: Psychedelic U. Intended to serve as a go-to resource for everything you wanted to know about psychedelics, including science, therapeutic applications, policy, culture, spirituality, and best practices, Psychedelic U functions as a hub to shepherd the audience toward a greater fluency in psychedelia.
The public beta of Psychedelic U goes live today at psychedelicu.net. It features educational articles, complete with recommended links to other sites for deeper dives into research, harm reduction, personal stories and more. The information is sourced from university studies, nonprofits, academics, and legacy, cultural stewards of plant medicine. Everything that appears on the site is vetted by a team of editors and external experts in the respective fields of therapy, neuroscience, policy, and more. It is also informed by our partners at BrainFutures, Blossom, Chacruna, and other organizations.
Multiple perspectives. Hence, the editorial process includes a number of disparate players coming from different fields and perspectives. The intent is to filter out bias through the blockchain of oversight, so the final say on an article is based not on any one party’s particular interests or relationships, but on a collectively agreed upon truth.
Often in psychedelic media, the complete picture is not being presented. To varying degrees of transparency, too many articles are pay-to-play — sponsored content that appears educational and is not clearly labeled, but the main goal of which is to promote a company or biased perspective. The picture that’s being presented is not complete or well-rounded, but rather angled, either implicitly or explicitly. Our goal for Psychedelic U is to provide a thorough picture.
Inspired as much by sites like WebMd as it is Erowid, Psychedelic U speaks to a diverse audience, including those who are new to psychedelics, as well as those more seasoned in this space, perhaps curious about compounds they’ve never explored before.
Check it out. To that end, we invite you to take a look at the Psychedelic U beta, and we would love to hear your feedback. The information is meant to cater to your questions, curiosities, and critiques: what are you looking to learn, what is necessary to know, and what has been under-reported that deserves attention?
We apply our best journalistic tools to vet the quality and truth of the information, while assessing how to present it in the most straightforward and easy-to-navigate way. Take a look and let us know what you think.
Trending is a series of news analysis essays by the Lucid News editorial team that appear weekly in our newsletter. To read past newsletters, and to subscribe, click here.