Fake news is a lie. But the term mistakenly seems like a lighthearted/entertaining way of describing fictional content based on a few truths that are familiar — or riffing on our own preexisting opinions.
No way. Fake news can be used to coerce, cause mischief, and keep one in their echo chamber.
Calling any bit of news content “propaganda” is more menacing. The idea is typically linked to governments that looking for sway or control over its citizenry. Banana republics, as well as more established countries in Eastern Europe, still work on this premise.
In the Eastern Europe country of Macedonia, one enterprising young person is responsible for more than 140 pseudo-U.S.political Web sites all looking to cause havoc. Terrorist journalism to some; I call it propaganda.
For a U.S. media organization -- TV, print, or digital-based (and no doubt there are overlaps here) -- this is their opportunity to make a real difference.
And then there is the social-media-platform-of-your-
How can the average person vet any of this? As usual, news readers need to figure out who is quoted, hopefully on the record, as well as determining the validity of other sources cited. Then, they have to check the claims against other media organizations.
Maybe you find nothing; or a little something. Then go back and re-check. Takes work, huh? Yep.
In contrast to all this, TV news networks could make content much more valuable in the coming years -- doing deeper journalism than ever before. This would go a long way to maintain some of that high viewership obtained during the recent election season.
It would also be beneficial for business -- and retain advertisers buying lots of news TV inventory commercials.
The betting is President-elect Trump might have far fewer press conferences than President Obama -- which will mean only one thing: Those now famous, loud and controversial Trump tweets --- with plenty of fact-free content -- will continue to proliferate. No journalistic balance at all -- from Right or Left.
What's at stake? The importance of a free press, one that speaks truth to power. So will you be calling any of this future digital content just “voices” or propaganda?