What's News?

Extra, extra, read all about it: Fake news causing havoc

Photo by Samuel Rosser, graphic by Jamie Black

By Jamie Black, Business Manager

“Fake news” has gained major prominence in the past year, but we should begin to take it more seriously. Whether it’s Onion articles or presidential tweets, “news” is being spread with very little truth or facts.

Journalists are given the role to deliver the truth, yet no matter which political side you’re on, journalists have spread this so-called news.

Fake news doesn’t deserve to even be called news. It’s more like pseudo-journalism. News is meant to be unbiased and both political sides are in the wrong, whether it’s Republicans accusing Obama of wire tapping or Democrats saying the Russians were involved in Trump’s win, the facts aren’t always there or true.

The more serious side of the spreading of fake news is that readers believe it. By reporting it, all journalists are letting readers down.

Not presenting all the facts or presenting them differently is something I wouldn’t put past any news outlet because in today’s modern world, it’s hard to be a journalist because most people don’t trust the news. A poll, taken on Feb. 7 out of 300 people, found that just at our school 60 percent of people don’t trust the media.

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Poll and graphic by Christina Matiuk

Besides the lack of trust, the audience itself, so critical to keep a news outlet functioning, has decreased as fewer get news from old-fashioned print sources. With those two issues combined, some journalists are doing whatever they can in order to stay afloat, but that doesn’t make spreading fake news right and it should stop.

If this form of “news” continues to spread, maybe the American people can just become wiser or a little more thoughtful.

After Trump’s inauguration an article, written by The Daily Mash, began to circle around the internet claiming that the Queen of England said she could legally kill Donald Trump. The article circulated and became a internet meme, causing people to believe it was real news. I mean did people seriously think she said “Legally I can kill him (Trump)?”

The article and site turned out to be a satirical form of news, but most people didn’t bother to look that up which is an issue we need to address or question the reality of the news.

Claims like this are ludicrous and should obviously be recognized as fake, yet for some reason so many people spread it as a meme. Americans have such small trust in the media, but we need to realize that when we repost, we are the media.

Now that we can so easily and quickly become media producers (instead of merely consumers), we need to become more aware of what’s going on around us and research a thing or two before we fully believe everything that’s posted online. The world isn’t truthful and it never will be, but maybe, just maybe, we will develop to not be so gullible.

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