One of the biggest issues that I have with the current affairs of the news industry is the insult of the term “fake news”. I was listening to the radio the other day and heard a great comparison. If you take the word gun and put any adjective in front of it, it doesn’t have nearly the same effect as placing fake in front of it. Think about it.
Small gun, big gun, dangerous gun, broken gun, toy gun… The list can go on and on, but if you place fake in front of it, the entire concept of the gun is changed. The same thing happens with the word news.
In the past, news has been described as left leaning news, right leaning news, conservative news, liberal news, slanted news, old news… Again, this list too goes on and on. But with the concept of fake news, there is the connotation that the news is outright trying to deceive the masses and alter the facts to be falsehoods.
Before the recent elections (2016) there was really only a couple of fake news organizations that I had heard of, and of them almost all were outright explicit satirical fake news. (I am talking about sites like The Onion and Duffleblog.) Everyone knew that the information and the stories on these sites were not meant to be taken seriously nor were they trying to be something that people would read for anything but amusement. This concept of fake news has morphed into outright deplorable trash.
People read information from what they believe to be reputable sources. Some people have developed such cognitive dissonance with the fake news outlets that nothing will sway them. For evidence of this, just look at the pizzagate incident that happened after the 2016 election. Attached are two coverage article from opposite sides of the liberal-conservative isle.
What can we do about this scary trend of pointless fake news? My idea is spreading the truth about what fake news actually is and not calling any news organization that we disagree with fake with no facts to back-up the claims that prove its in-authenticity. That’s my plan, what will you do to fix this mess.