Worried About Fake, Partisan News? Be Your Own Journalist

Veteran TV journalists looking to combat fake news need to start with the premise that the fight against untrue, completely false news stories, opinions and facts  -- from the President-elect on down -- can yield boring or confusing TV.

All that will probably be necessary --- unless you want simple entertaining headlines and short news reports that are easily TV digestible.

For digital media, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg never wanted to get involved in deciding what is fake news and what isn’t. Zuckerberg believes social media is about giving a voice to everyone; Facebook was just a distribution platform to do this. No more, no less.

But he didn’t take into account that giving a voice to everyone can yield destructive, harmful and misleading results. Take that North Carolina man who opened fire in a Washington pizzeria after fake news reports claimed it was operating a child sex ring.



Facebook isn’t The Washington Post, Fox News Channel, The New York Times or CNN.  But now, it might have to be -- in part. Zuckerberg says it’s a complex issue, technically and philosophically.

And then there are just those fake-news profiteers -- making money on misinformation, usually from some digital advertising-sharing revenue formula. Additionally, there are those nonprofit types, only wanting to fake it up with a decidedly one-sided political bent.

Traditional TV, print and established digital news platforms may not be your cup of tea.  And yes mistakes are made. But nothing is perfect -- so don’t greedy.

Remembers this: Not everyone can or wants to be a journalist. Feel like tracking down and confirming every fact of a potential news story? That’s takes time. And people don’t have time. So they get distracted by social-media content, including stuff from your friends and family.

Find the best journalist you can -- TV, print, digital or otherwise.  And make sure they ask boring, detailed and perhaps very un-entertaining questions. Maybe those results might not always agree with you — which is important.

Get out of your echo chamber. TV news channels may never be the same. But that is exactly what advertisers and viewers need.

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