Media Bias charts are a good way to discern which way your news is leaning. The term ‘fake news’ is overused and often not accurate, Autumn Nuzman says. Graphic from AllSides.com.
You wouldn’t think it needed to be said, but apparently it does: Not all media is fake news.
While it’s true that fake news is out there, the generalization that media and news organizations are entirely comprised of fake news needs to stop.
Generalizing all media as fake is harmful since people are less likely to be receptive to actual facts and information if they think the media as a whole is, as President Donald Trump puts it, “the enemy of the people.”
Also, referring to “the media” as if it’s some sort of mass conglomerate is ridiculous since media is just a way of referring to the wide range of mediums by which things are communicated or expressed. “The media” isn’t some sort of secret society dedicated to brainwashing people into thinking a certain way, it’s a wide range of methods used to keep people informed about current events. All the information we receive about politics and other current events, including non-commentated broadcasts of things such as presidential and vice presidential debates, is given through some form of media.
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In fact, moderators for presidential and vice presidential debates tend to be affiliated with news organizations. Why entrust “the enemy of the people” with this responsibility? Because their job is to report facts, including facts that hold candidates accountable for their claims.
While there are news organizations that lean in a specific political direction, you don’t have to get your news from a single source; you can check as many news sources as you like, and whatever they have in common in their reporting is more than likely true, especially if they’re usually at opposing ends of the political spectrum.
One website you can use to weigh the accuracy of news is AllSides.com, which compiles stories from left, right and center and uses the slogan, “Unbiased news does not exist; we provide balanced news and civil discourse.”
Fake news as a concept is also widely misunderstood, and the term tends to be used more as a facetious tactic to dispute unflattering information. Just because you don’t like what’s being reported, that doesn’t always mean it’s fake news.
We have to stop shifting the blame onto the media as a whole and educate ourselves on how to spot and combat actual fake news, which is what the Dixie Sun News strives to do in its annual fake news edition. Keep an eye out for the Dixie Sun News’ fake news edition, and consider whether you’re calling something fake news because it is or if it’s because of your own biases.
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