Fake News Pt.1 What the heck is it?

Just this week:

  • the United States fired over 50 tomahawk missiles at a Syrian base in retaliation of the chemical poisoning of over 100 people including children.
  • This weekend we are a mobilizing our navy towards Korea in anticipation of North Korea's actions.
  • Our governor is in the process of getting impeached and denying the allegations placed against him.
  • The lines between our President and his cabinet with Russia are being blurred even more with investigators stepping down and information shuffled about. 

We are in some confusing times.

A lot of people on social media and in the world are crying "fake news." This leads to the question: what's real?


"Fake News" and News Bias 

What is "fake news"? 

Fake news is articles that contain skewed (or altered) information that blows certain topics or situations out of proportion.   Fake news tends to stir up feelings to drive physical response.  

So basically like propaganda?  Similar but not the same. 

What's the point of fake news:

Clicks and your money.

Many websites create misleading or flat out wrong articles to gain your attention, have you spread the wrong information, and most importantly spread advertisement. 

In other words, fake news, for the most part, is a money scheme. 

Be it for views on news outlets to clicks on a website. If a company or organization has your attention then they can make money from your view. 

Fake news vs unintentional bias:

I am an aspiring journalist, providing you information on tough subjects and to provide you information that you deserve to know is going to be my job for the rest of my life. I am passionate about it and I care deeply about serving the community. 

Just a disclaimer, journalists do not get paid a lot. This is purely a passion job (like teachers, low-level non-profit organizers and etc.), those who make it big like Lestor Holt and others had to crawl their way up from years of work in the field. You have to fight in order to get the "big bucks" in the journalism career field. 

The point I'm making is this: all journalists care (or should) about their community and do their job because they want to, not because they have to, otherwise they would be doing something else for higher pay. 

So journalists should be trusted. If we do not have the trust of the people then we do not have jobs. Our credibility is our lifeline, this is why it is so important for the news to be unbiased and correct! We do not want to tell you wrong information. If we do then you will not trust that.

All journalists follow this principle of telling the truth and the facts (if not, then they should not call themselves journalists!). 

But even so, many times journalists tend to make the mistake of putting their own feelings in their writing.  This can lead to bias.

What is bias? 

Bias is showing favor for or against one thing, person or group compared with another in ways that are unfair.

Journalists occasionally do that by leaning to one side of the political spectrum like Fox News or MSNBC or CNN. They provide information that suits their personal (or corporate) viewpoints instead of presenting a clear, undivided bigger picture on the situation going on

If that's the case, who can we really trust? How can we tell real news from fake?

These are important questions to ask, especially in the times we are in. Have no fear though, there are plenty of good journalists out there that are doing their jobs right, even within major outlets that are deemed "fake news" by our president. 

Next time we will talk about how to tell the difference between real and "alternative" and places to get factual news. Don't worry, it's not hard to do! 

Until then, stay strong, tiger! 

For more information on this trending word check out this informative article.