There’s a lot of discussion these days over “fake news” and for good reason. For years many conservatives have suspected the liberal bent of the mainstream media. Stories and studies have proven this. 80%+ of the media is liberal, both in their giving and voting patterns.
They just don’t want to admit it.
Are they writing fake news? Is there some grand conspiracy?
No. But they are writing news that is heavily influenced by their worldview, the filter through which each of us sees the world around us. In other words, there is no such thing, in the end, as tabula rosa. No one is a blank slate. Each of us approaches a given story or situation with preconceptions, consciously or subconsciously. How we then share that news or story filters through our worldview.
Does that mean that all news written or reported by MSNBC, CNN or other “traditional” or decidedly more liberal outlets is fake? No. But how they write the stories and which headlines announce the news in them is definitely dictated by their worldview.
On the flip side, there are a lot of “news” sites that we have seen posted on conservatives’ social media accounts that more than just raise the eyebrows. They are downright laughable and yet were and are posted and shared without a second thought.
Here is our challenge to all consumers of news.
One, check the source before you read the story. In other words, ask yourself, “Where is this story coming from?” A lot of people made a lot of money this past election season by creating sites that peddled the news many people wanted to hear. See this story for more on that.
Two, who actually wrote the story? What do you know about this reporter of the news or opinion maker? If you don’t know or cannot say, then guess what? You might be a consumer of fake news.
Three, what is the purpose of this story? Is it actually to report news or sensationalize a topic?
Purveyors of fake news have subject lines down to a science. They know what consumers of news are looking for by watching trend lines on search engines like Google. In other words, they are looking for you before you know what you are looking for.
So before we run around calling all news that doesn’t agree with our worldview “fake,” let’s take a step back and run all the news we consume through the simply metric above: the source, who wrote or reported the story and what is the purpose of it.
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