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The truth about fake news

ERIK+THULIEN
ERIK THULIEN

ERIK THULIEN

ERIK THULIEN

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It’s time to set the record straight about “fake news.”

It’s a phrase that has become all too popular over the last year or so, and it is important to differentiate between what is actually fake news and what is not.

I wrote an article last year about why the media is not your enemy, and how it acts as a tool to hold our elected officials accountable.

Despite how much attention this topic has received over the course of Trump’s administration, many, including Trump, continue to get it wrong. Just because the media reports negatively about something an elected official, including Trump, has done, that does not make the story fake or partisan.

If an elected official does something that is objectively bad, the media should report it as such. That is the media holding said official accountable to the public.

Time and time again since he took office, Trump has accused media outlets of being “fake news” when they report stories about him that are demonstrably true, but that reflects poorly on him.

However, the worst part about it is that so many of his supporters believe him. He has convinced them that the media is their enemy and is working against the greater good of the people.

Now that is not to say that every story you read is going to be true. The number of websites that bend facts or present outright lies is growing by the day. Some of these websites will even tell you they are going to lie to you in their name (hint: if the website is called “conservative-something” or “liberal-something,” they probably are not telling you the truth).

However, the amount of information, including an enormous amount of reputable fact-checking websites available online, make it very easy to verify the articles you read.

Just as much as it is the responsibility of journalists to have integrity in the articles they write, you have the responsibility to verify the information you read –especially before you start to formulate an opinion about it or share it on Facebook.

Fake news exists, and it is certainly a problem online, but it’s not what Trump says it is.

Stay informed, stay engaged, and stay optimistic. Most certainly, continue to hold the administration accountable.

 

 

 

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Award winning, student run, weekly campus newspaper of the University of Illinois, Springfield..
The truth about fake news