An In-Depth Look at Fake News in Journalism
Facebook just announced a new initiative called the journalism project.
The new platform works as a tool for those that want to publish and share news content online in a proper manner. In addition, Facebook has a series of e-learning courses to review called project Blueprint.
This initiative comes at an important time in political news coverage. During the recent press conference held by the President-elect, a series of questionable moments took place.
The Verge reported:
‘When Jim Acosta, Senior White House Correspondent for CNN, attempted to ask Trump a question, the President-elect refused to answer. “Not you. Your organization is terrible,” Trump said. “I’m not going to give you a question, you are fake news.”’
A key takeaway from that exchange is that the President-elect is limiting the conversation to only publications he agrees with. This comes after weeks of delaying a press conference with the mainstream media.
Those that consume and share news are currently facing a serious problem of being able to identify what is real, and what is fake news. With the new journalism project, as well as Blueprint, Facebook is working to help individuals source and properly gather information that has been fact check thoroughly. The USA Today video below goes over some of the new features to Facebook’s journalism project.
Facebook stems to produce the most fake news in comparison to other social media platforms. An example is sharing an image, Internet article or meme that displays text that is incorrect or misleading. Since Facebook still has the most users in comparison to other social media platforms, it becomes a bigger risk for people to share their mislead opinions with others on the website.
Mark Zukerberg has recently commented on this problem with his company:
For those that want to share and consume news that is trustworthy, it is important to check the sources of the news article.
Direct sourcing is the best method. When a news outlet contacts a person directly, gains permission to publish their insight, and publishes a news story; that is considered a direct source. When a news organization has multiple direct sources, that is a good sign of professional journalism.
Watch out for heavy opinionated content. Talk show radio shows are filled with dialogue that lacks substance. When consuming or sharing a news article, think about the amount of data that has been fact-checked, and the value you are adding to your audiences life by sharing a post or image.
It feels amazing when I share an informative article that shines light on an area of life that needs to be reviewed. Yes, it takes time to properly source information, and make sure the content is always correct, but the payoff of being able to help educate the general public is priceless.
That is why it is important to allow each news organization the ability to ask questions during press conferences. The general public cannot all be at the press events to ask informative questions, and that is why each publication that is allowed access to these event be given a fair chance to communicate with different politicians.
Below is a video of satire comedy from Election 2016. Hulu and Triumph the Insult Dog sent out fake Fox News journalists to inquire information at a political rally.
This example shows Hulu, a media/entertainment company, poking fun at misinformation with a skit to show how easy it is to create fake news.
The takeaway to this example is that satire comedy about news is permissible, but be careful of satire comedy within news.