By: Nathan Roshawn | From: TrueRants Network
If you watch mainstream media stations such as CNN, FOX, ABC, CBS, NBC and others, or read national newspapers like, The New York Times, Washington Post, LA Times, etc., you have undoubtedly heard of this emerging issue with "Fake" news. While there are certain websites and news sources that can be considered "parody" news or "fake" news, those sites make up a very insurmountable portion of the web, and often times, very obviously explain their loose connection with “news.”
The real problem is that for the first time ever, corporate and government sponsored news sources are being overtaken by independent media sites and services that do not play by the establishment rules. Citizen journalists, and truth-seekers, are coming together and delivering better news reporting than corporate media and it scares them. What will happen to them if non-profit or volunteer news services take over? The cash cow the MSM (main stream media) agencies have been bleeding out for generations will inevitably dry up.
In the last decade, viewership to MSM stations, and subscriptions to major newspapers and magazines, have drastically declined as people look more to Facebook and other social sites for their news. In a 2015 Gallup poll, 60% of Americans disapproved of, or, did not trust the MSM to provide accurate and factual news. This was up from 45% in 1999 which is still a shockingly large number. So since the turn of the century half of the population has a problem with mainstream news. That is the problem. Not "Fake" news.
To call something "Fake" news and essentially declare war on it by encouraging social media and other services to develop ways to decipher news that is "factual" versus that which is "fake" is a slippery slope that cannot end well. Who decides what news is valid? What about freedom of speech and expression? What happened to people's ability to decide for themselves what to believe? When you start to censor news you start the process of removing the freedom of thought, opinion, and expression that America is known for.
What happens to the MSM services who have reported "fake" news? Do they get banned? It is a fact that MSM news agencies have been caught numerous times spreading intentionally fictitious news. In 2015, Brian Williams, with NBC Nightly News, lied about taking heavy fire in a helicopter while covering the war in Iraq in 2003. He resigned from his position shortly after being called out by military personnel aboard that same aircraft. However, he still holds a job in journalism. How about the time when NBC purposefully and maliciously edited the 911 tape of the heavily popularized Travon Martin case to make it sound like the suspect, Zimmerman, was obsessed with the man’s race. Facts are what make news legit and often times MSM news agencies fail to get those straight. What news boils down to is always going to be another’s interpretation of an event, activity, or situation.
Melissa Zimdar, Ast. Prof at Merrimack College put together, in her opinion, a list of fake news sites that she then rates with a rating system she created. The publication has received widespread attention and reached a level within the media that it was actually being considered factual. The actual fact that this was entertained shows the degradation of free speech in America and the lack in ability for Americans to decipher news and critically think on their own. It has always been the responsibility of the individual to critic and validate what they hear in the media through other sources and one’s own intuition. If mankind has rebuked to mindset where a person must be told what is true and what is not, and is not allowed to have their own beliefs and feelings on certain subject, we are in for a very bleak future.
As we move forward with redefining what "News" amounts to, and how we determine the validity of sources and facts, let us not forget the importance of uncensored and free speech. Tinkering with allowing someone to decide who can report and what they can report is a fast track down an Orwellian path to limited freedoms.