The Real Problem with “Fake News”
The first amendment gives us the right to a free press.
Our government cannot take this away from us, no matter how much of a pain the free press has been to their administration.
The free press is essential to any democracy, but just as important to any democracy is an educated body of citizens.
Ever since President Donald Trump proliferated the widespread use of the term “fake news,” I’ve heard more and more Trump supporters voice their distrust of the media.
But not all media. Only the media that doesn’t share their specific world view.
They won’t even consider those news sources’ information because they feel that if something goes against their world view, then it must be “fake news.”
Both sides of the political spectrum do this. Not just the people on the right and not just the people on the left.
If these practices continue, it could spell disaster for our Republic.
We as a society cannot continue closing our eyes to information that makes us feel uncomfortable.
We have to learn that it’s important to gain information from numerous news sources. But not only that, we have to become media literate once again.
We have to learn how to separate opinions from facts and not to blindly trust somebody solely based on their power, position or even relationship to you.
Just because everybody is entitled to their own opinions, doesn’t mean your opinions are factual. We need to form our own opinion that is derived from the facts.
We also need to learn how to maneuver through bias. There will always be bias in the media.
Journalist and author, Hunter S. Thompson said it best:
“With the possible exception of things like box scores, race results and stock market tabulations, there is no such thing as objective journalism.”
This has been the case since the birth of our free press. When our republic was birthed from the ashes of war, our newspapers were severely partisan.
Political parties would even sponsor them.
This doesn’t mean the news sources like The New York Times, The Washington Post or Rolling Stone are “fake news.”
Does bias creep into some of their work? Of course, it does. But they don’t make things up out of thin air.
That’s what true “fake news” is, the memes you see on your favorite social media app that claim absurd things.
Like the meme that claimed Former U.S. President Barack Obama is Muslim, or even the one that claims President Trump once said in an interview that Republican voters are the easiest voters to fool.
Before you share political memes on any platform, I urge everyone to do some research. A little bit of research can go a long way.
We need to become media literate. This is critical in order for our republic to thrive.
If we can’t separate the truth from the lies, then how can we choose who is to lead us into the future?
Before you start to yell “fake news” at an article that doesn’t share your world view, you might want to take a look at your Facebook wall to see the real “fake news.”