In our current society where newspapers are taking a backseat to computers and iPads, getting our news is constantly changing and turning heads as to how we get our news.
Social media has grown into one of the biggest things internationally. There are places on the internet for anything and news has not missed out on it, but social media and the internet can be a double-edged sword for when it comes to news.
I believe the term “fake news” is still very fresh in everyone’s mind those who followed the 2016 presidential election. It confounded those in political world and frustrated those in the journalism community and how could it not. Not only did social media and other internet sites allow the viewing of fake news, its influence effected an entire presidential election.
Something like that should make any normal person nervous. It is why how we pick where we get our news so important – it shapes our viewpoint on current events and the wrong information could give us the wrong outlook on something.
Newspapers don’t necessarily face this predicament since they are either meant for national audiences or local towns and cities.
Online news sites don’t follow that. Anyone can make a website and put anything they want on it – including fake news, and the smart ones do it so well you can’t even tell it’s fake. The Onion is an exception.
Social media, especially Facebook and Twitter are possibly the worst places to get your news. While anyone can be a journalist, not everyone who puts out news is necessarily one, they could be putting out rumors masquerading as news to damage the image of a rival political figure. Some even do it just for the fun of it, the trolls of the internet.
The fourth estate has many different faces and if you’re not careful you might be duped into believing something that isn’t even real. Sometimes these fake rumors can spiral out of control and even turn violent.
An example being the pizza shop that was shot up by a conspiracy theorist who believed it housed a child sex-ring. He went ad shot up the place, thankfully no one was injured, but just the act alone shows what reading the wrong kind of news can do to someone.
Header photo courtesy of Flickr.