We’re not just going to talk about the way the news is influencing our day-to-day life, but about the way all this new technology is changing the way we actually report it. Although the whole fake news drama is nothing new, we decided to investigate the way the digital world has a weight on our world.
It’s no surprise that newspapers and magazines, across the world are under massive financial pressure due to online publications; many more are in trouble because of the way we actually report news. In today’s world, let me ask you: who gets to report news? The proper answer is: pretty much everyone.
What used to be a simple process of an experienced journalist publishing task and us reading it on a newspaper, or watching it on the news with our parents after school, has now completely shifted and given the rest of us, inexperienced reporters, the opportunity to create and read news via a variety of social media channels.
According to the Guardian, there are about 1.4 billion smartphones in the world and although major newspapers such as BBC and the New York Times have created advanced and informative apps, most of these people will choose to read the news on Facebook rather than those websites. Not to mention that these mobile phones are challenging the credibility of the government, and increasing this spread of fake news in this difficult and critical time.
But this fast spread of news also have its benefits; such as an information cycle that has moved from a few hours to no more than a minute, which also means that because information can come from anywhere, there’s a bigger chance it will have a larger audience and therefore spread awareness at a faster rate. However, this doesn’t change the fact that we need some type of filtering put into place, for relevant and irrelevant news to be separated in an innovative and intelligent way.
I recently read a very interesting analysis on BuzzFeed that found that fake news generated more engagement on social media (mostly on Facebook), than real news story found on newspaper websites. This analysis was done during the months leading up to the US election in 2017. It is therefore a possibility that this made up information had a massive impact on the result of the presidential vote by feeding false information to the rest of the US.
Not only is this truly unethical and un-democratic, but it could have also influenced the vote for Brexit in the UK, the latest presidential elections in Brazil, started Russian conspiracy theories and many more. As we know, we are facing difficult times especially in our governments around the world and this type of information should be the least of our worries.
In order to tackle this debacle, Facebook has announced prior to the 2018 US elections, that it would make sure to increase their fake news security and support regular political ads. This recent announcement from such an influential channel is positive for the rest of the world but especially to the spread of worthy information, and it shouldn’t be taken lightly.
It’s without a doubt become a different era of news, but instead of using it in a way that would make our governments and overall living situations worst, we need to make sure we’re using it wisely. So please, don’t depend on social media channels to get your daily news report, and turn on the TV at prime news times, and try to grab a paper at least once a week!
In other news, here are some of the most recent staples we can’t get enough of
Images via Unsplash
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