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This is all Fake News

Isaac Fox, Staff Reporter

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The phrase “fake news” has gained an incredible grip on us. Every day it quietly invades our conversations, our newscasts, and, of course, our twitter feeds. Our heads are by now absolutely full of #fakenews.

The problem with that? Well, it seems that we don’t really know what we’re talking about. The phrase’s most prominent proponent- the leader of the free world, of course- makes no attempt to define it, but a working definition can be extracted from his vast legions of tweets. One, published on May 9, 2018, (at four thirty-eight AM) reads:

The Fake News is working overtime. Just reported that, despite the tremendous success we are having with the economy & all things else, 91% of the Network News about me is negative (Fake). Why do we work so hard in working with the media when it is corrupt? Take away credentials?”

Admittedly, this isn’t particularly eloquent. I don’t know, maybe the president isn’t a morning person. Parts of it, in fact, don’t even really make sense. (The government can’t take away someone’s credentials, for example; credentials aren’t exactly concrete.)

Again, maybe he’s not a morning person.

But his ideas about the phrase “fake news” can be deduced from this tweet. What he actually speaks of is not fake news- which is completely fabricated journalism billed as the real deal- but media bias. And media bias is something that we need to address.

Let me start by stating that the media is biased. This is unavoidable, as it’s impossible to tell any story without allowing your own personal opinions to creep in. It’s also inescapable. Let me return for a moment to the previously referenced tweet, the one addressing bias. The figure stating that 91 percent of news coverage on President Trump is “negative” in nature can be traced back to the Media Research Center, which tends to show a strong conservative bias.

The only myth here is in fact that there is unbiased media out there. This story is biased. And yes, based on a definition championed by an all-too-large faction of American society, this is all fake news.

Which means that that absolutely unbiased story that we’re always looking for… doesn’t exist.

One way to solve this problem is by finding news that suits one’s own opinions. Allsides, for example, displays stories of varying biases and classifies each as “from the left”, “from the right”, or “moderate”, which makes it easier to find what you’re looking for.

Another solution is to seek out media outlets that offer a balanced blend of biases. Subjects in a 2018 survey by the Gallup/Knight foundation believed PBS to be first in this regard among popular American news outlets. Breitbart and Fox News were tied for last.

Ultimately, you, the “consumers” of this great big product that we call journalism, must decide this for yourselves. It’s worth remembering, though, how you know what’s going on in the world. It’s worth remembering what acts as the voice of the people and what holds our leaders, governmental, religious, and societal, accountable. And it’s definitely worth remembering that all of this- all of this fake news media– is absolutely essential to our society.

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This is all Fake News