Fake news—how it affects our country and you

Marissa Radtke ’19, Layout Director

The new era of social media brings a platform for everybody to spread their ideas and beliefs. It also gives news stations the platform to spread news immediately and quickly. However, with this, it gives the media a chance to spread details that are not quite true. Word get twisted,
and lies spread fast, especially on the internet. It is hard to decipher what is real and what is fake. You have likely heard the term “fake news” many times in the past couple years, especially within the last presidential campaign.

Fake news is a type of yellow journalism or propaganda that consists of deliberate misinformation or hoaxes spread through print, broadcast news media, and social media. Fake news is used by many media sources to slant their articles towards one political affiliation or to make the other political candidates look bad.

Many broadcasting media sources use fake news daily, to make political parties, candidates, and representatives look unsatisfactory. Many major news stations such as Time Magazine, NBC News, CNN, and The New York Times have been caught using fake news. One of the most recent cases of fake news was that the President Donald Trump, was using ‘cages’ to detain child border crossers. All of the news sources above posted news on the ‘cages’ as if it was brand new information and posted ‘grim’ images of them. However, our previous president Barack Obama was using the same exact cells to detain child border crossers. The ‘cages’ are also not actually cages. They are rooms made of concrete with open fences. Each child is provided a bed and thermal blankets. This is just one example of news sources slanting their articles to make a political representative look substandard.

News stations also use fake news or slanting information to make some political affiliation and candidates look better.  Many news broadcasting networks will downplay information that makes their affiliated parties or candidates so they do not look unacceptable. For example, a major broadcasting network CNN described a rape allegation made against former president Bill Clinton as ‘harassment’. The woman who accused Clinton of the rape, Juanita Broaddrick said that CNN using the word ‘harassment’ to downplay the allegation is a “gross understatement”. Broaddrick accused Clinton of rape in 1978.

There is no current solution for how to tackle the issue of the media spreading fake news. Many Americans are being fooled into reading information that is not accurate. The best way to make sure what you are reading is correct, is to check your sources and read multiple articles on the subject. You have to consider who is running or funding many of the news sources. Typically if a news source is associated towards one party, they are going to post articles and information that makes that party look better. If you read an article on a situation, try researching up the situation more and read it from multiple news sources. This is so that you might get more views on a situation. Also, you always have to think to yourself that not everything you read on the internet is true.
Photo courtesy of medium.com

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