Do you watch or listen or read the news?
If you do – how do you do so? Which media do you trust today to deliver sound newsworthy stories that you believe?
Fake news has been around for a very long time – centuries in fact – and it’s not a recent phenomenon. Today we have fake news and propaganda aplenty – anyone and everyone can become an online journalist or an editor – create a headline, write a small story and then with the press of a button the world can start to read their story – be this true or false – the world is reading what has been written.
Long before the news events of today like topics dealing with Brexit or the coronavirus, we had stories floating about on the internet usually found on fake websites and or social media platforms where information could be easily shared – as readers or content consumers many of us were already starting to doubt the authenticity of the so called newsworthy story – l know l was. Truth is that l personally started to doubt the validity of certain headlines way back in 2014.
Things l was reading online didn’t always make sense and so after fairly heavy research l would find that my initial thoughts were indeed true. The content was false.
It’s ironic in a way, years ago when l used to run my business, l used to perform a small side line of fake news for a friend of mine in the animal industry – although back then it was more in line with a form of political or animal husbandry propaganda to the exotic keeper’s market which we created to try and both manipulate and encourage ‘keepers’ to improve their husbandry skills. The stories created usually held an element of truth to them, my role was to coerce and catastrophize the seriousness of the story so that we could incite a response and therefore most occasions create a debate.
I am naturally curious and as l briefly outlined to Geoff today on another of my posts l enjoyed the whole role of playing devil’s advocate at times. It is healthy to be able to create debate and it was most assuredly beneficial 15-20 years ago with the private animal keeper’s market. Point in, l am somewhat cynical about most things concerning news and tend to research practically everything.
Last week, when speaking to Madam “I am not a conspiracist, but …” When l got back home, everything she made reference to l looked up, researched and studied – it is in my nature to test the waters of some things. It is also very interesting as l take this Thrive course, because it is a course into questioning everything … right up my alley in some ways.
In the last few weeks, l have seen some exceedingly outlandish story lines over here in the UK that have caused damage to not just society but also to the journalism industry – let’s be honest, when we start to disbelieve the news articles we read and because of that we create ‘conspiracies’ or we ignore realities we are in many ways causing more problems for ourselves and the world. We run the risk of becoming hostile to everything and everyone around us.
So many ‘online’ news stories these days seemingly are no longer objective, or they are filled with inaccuracy and l often wonder who regulates and moderates these stories prior to publishing?
Who do we trust, what do we trust – what is real and what is make believe?
Friends and colleagues l have started to and have been saying they no longer read news, listen to news, or watch the news because they simply don’t know what is fake and what is real anymore.
I read news stories, watch the news and listen to news but l have learned that in order to remain objective, that for me l treat it unemotionally and objective, treat it purely as data – mentally taking a step back and adding a pinch of salt here and there to remind me of the world we live in. We have to be smart with our news intake and rely upon educated guesswork at times – learn how to spot fake news, not take everything at face value and perform independent research where applicable should we so wish and think twice if not thrice before sharing it to other readers.
I tend to always look at where the story is coming from – is it from a well known source supplier? Does the story have an element of truth to it to begin with? Or is it interwoven closely with reality only – how much information is there to actually read? Are the images or diagrams relevant to the story itself? It can become a hard game to play and most often and not, more people today are simply opting to NOT bother with the news anymore.
Are you able to spot fake news and if you can – how do you go about it?
If YOU were planning on creating a fake news story – what topic would you select and why?
How would you create a fake news story that was credible and believable?