We’ve been hearing a fair bit lately about this phenomenon known as ‘fake news’. Let’s decipher what it is, why it has cropped up and what we are going to do about it.
The idea of fake news has swept into the public conscious at the time of the Trump-Clinton fiasco and now has become an even bigger topic since Trump won the presidency.
But why are we hearing so much about the ‘fake news’? What is going on?
Basically the media have always tried to exercise their right to free speech at whatever cost. The authoritarian nature of the Trump administration has sent the ‘fake news’ media into overdrive – countering whatever authoritarian elements it can.
The media is and always will be a nuisance to whoever is in the spotlight. In a free and open democracy that is just the way it is.
The point of good journalism is to make the public aware of the zeitgeist of the times. The media does a particularly good job of this most of the time.
People who read the news knows that the elite media has a left wing bias. There is no doubt about it. But now those of the right are arguing that their approach is actually anti-freedom.
Again a lot can be said about it but there is no doubt that the elite global corporate media has gotten to a level where they are really out of touch with the average person.
It is this disconnect that the Trump campaign tapped into so successfully. And what does this mean for the future?
It means now that there is now a void for new media medias to fill. To capture the audience that is not at all represented by the dominant media organizations.
Without a doubt those liberal organisations will tooth and nail defend the position that they enjoy. But who knows, maybe things will just stay the way they are?
After all, securing a competitive position within media takes a hell of a lot of work.
One tactic that has been suggested as a way to curtail fake news is to make publishers put the names of the authors on their articles.
This way the authors will be responsible for the articles and the individuals held accountable to what is going on.
Without a doubt this would be very effective. It seems unbelievable that these huge media organizations don’t even include the journalist’s name on their article.
So we certainly see the same bias occurring in Australia. The media makes a really good job of always trying to stick up for minorities.
What they often fail to capture is the real emotion that exists in the public.
It could be said that it’s this way because the media have some responsibility. They are presenting news to the population- they have a huge influence.
The problem is that they might fail to capture what is really going on and become irrelevant. That is why the media needs to really careful.
Of course the media wants to be fair and just, but it also has to be engaged with the aggressive, spiteful and downright nasty sides of human character.
Some people rely heavily on the news to be aware of what is going on. Fake news can also be misinformation, and this is dangerous territory to be in for any media organisation.
It will still be okay as long as people come to expect the kind of bias that the media puts forward. They know how to adjest to whatever they are reading.
However eventually people might get tired of this and eventually just want to know exatly what is going on.
The media always has and always will be responsible for holding everyone accountable.
It is a huge respoinsibility and one that should be taken carefully.
There is a tightrope balancing act trying to tell the facts, be fair and present things the way they really are.
I believe in people’s good intentions and indeed the media has to make sure that it creates the right balance.
The media have never fully got it right but as long as they are aware of what’s going on and heading in the right direction most people will let them off the hook.