“I saw Goody New York Times with the Fake News”: The Fake News Problem

Tired+of+fake+news.+Tired+of+hearing+about+fake+news.+Just+plain+tired.+Photo+by+Tony+Madden.
Tired of fake news. Tired of hearing about fake news. Just plain tired. Photo by Tony Madden.

Tired of fake news. Tired of hearing about fake news. Just plain tired. Photo by Tony Madden.

Tired of fake news. Tired of hearing about fake news. Just plain tired. Photo by Tony Madden.

Meredith Murphree, Opinion Editor

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There’s a new epidemic that’s sweeping the nation. Unfortunately, it’s not a cool, new dance like the twist. It’s fake news—two of the most overused words in the English language. It has become almost tiresome to hear them uttered in any capacity, be it from a crazy relative on Facebook using them to describe news that they don’t agree with or a crazy elected official using them to describe news that they don’t agree with. The fake news witch-hunt has turned every social media platform into a scene from The Crucible.

The scariest part of this whole situation is that nothing is new here. Fake news is just the hip rebranding of the yellow journalism of yesteryear. Credible journalists are being confused with the blithering talking heads on the fringe news websites.

All of the commotion caused by this fake news business is blurring the line between opinion and news. Even those aforementioned credible journalists are sometimes falling victim to the lure of editorializing what they report.

Reporters have a duty to remain unbiased when reporting the news. This point is often overlooked while listening to the constant dribble of opinions that are broadcast on the 24-hour cable news circuit. The average American viewer is not thinking about whether or not the person on the TV is accurately reporting the news, they are only thinking about it being on a “news channel”. That is the root of the fake news problem.

It is the journalist’s ethical responsibility to their audience to not sensationalize content. However, it is the journalist’s responsibility to themselves to not get sucked into the fake news vortex.

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“I saw Goody New York Times with the Fake News”: The Fake News Problem