False, Misleading, Clickbait-y, and Satirical ‘News’ Sources
I have been thinking about the news for a few weeks. I ran across the above comprehensive list (Google doc) compiled by Melissa Zimdars, an assistant professor of communication and media. She started the list as a resource for her students, who are learning about journalism/social media/media literacy. It is a great resource for all of us today searching for truthful content.
My Thoughts on News Today
Cable news, good idea on paper, has morphed into a format, which now delivers more opinion than fact. Everything is termed ‘breaking news.’ Therefore, nothing is breaking news, nor is it actually news. It is opinion about the news, driven by the need to sell advertising.
Cable news then spawned super ‘opinionators’ like Rush, Sean, etc. These position platforms have made it difficult to sort through the noise and uncover the facts. They are highly persuasive, but they are Op-Ed, Satire! One can barely differentiate SNL from reality!
This contentious and polarizing election has rendered our ‘news’ ineffective and moot. Pundits and surrogates use these platforms to deliver misinformation (termed hyperbole) because lies, delivered simply and repeatedly by enough people, eventually become ‘truth’ in many minds. Their view or judgment is formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge. Adolf Hitler in Mein Kampf wrote, “Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it.”
Then there are books being self-published to deliver nothing but lies in another form by people with an agenda and enough money to ‘legitimize’ the falsehoods. “Clinton Cash” falls into this category.
Add the influence of vast sharing via social media of horrible memes with massive shock value and we have landed here scratching our heads wondering how. Glad to see Google taking it seriously. Do social media platforms have the responsibility to separate the chaff from the wheat?
I no longer believe anything I hear or read. I have returned to gut feelings I hope are not tainted and prayer. Where do we go from here?