Alan Ferdman: Many forms of ‘fake news’

SCV Voices: Guest Commentary
SCV Voices: Guest Commentary

Chris Blakey misses the point when he describes “fake news” as “known sites or groups of people who are posting made-up stories to make a profit” and seems to suggest the mainstream media does not do the same.

His statement during the recent COC forum on “fake news”: “This difference between made-up stories and calling legitimate news stories fake has caused confusion among the public” shows his bias in defining the situation.

A “legitimate news story” can also become “fake news” when the author goes beyond stating the facts and interjects his or her own opinion. This type of manipulation of truth has become so common, the public sees it every day.

For example, if the president gives a speech, reporters are (and have been for a long time) going beyond reporting what he said and including comments to get the reader to agree with their political beliefs.

Take almost any national story published today and you can find the exact opposite spin put on it, depending on which news or TV agency reported it.

The public is confused because the situation has gotten so bad that a person does not know whom to trust. I, for one, take major-news-outlet reporting on anything relative to national events with a grain of salt.

Fortunately, today’s technology allows me to see and hear the actual event and make up my own mind.  This will not change until reporters start reporting the news, leave the editorializing to the Opinion section, and regain the public’s trust.

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