Obvious fake news
By Jerrison Oracion, Senior Columnist
News can be found not only in newspapers but also on TV, radio, and online, but too many of these sources can be deliberately misinformative. President Donald Trump coined the phrase “fake news” after CNN reporter Jim Acosta asked him a question and did not let him answer during a press conference. The information that Trump posted on Twitter was scrutinized and considered by some as credible media and not by others. This makes it trickier to figure out what is true and who to trust.
Fake news is not only a thing in the United States. It happens in other countries too, including Canada. Misinformation is another type of propaganda and can lead to bigger consequences. But there are inaccurate stories that are obviously fake that you can easily ignore them. When I get my news, I usually get it from a variety of sources instead of just one source.
I watch many news channels in both Canada and the United States to see how they approach stories and which stories that they cover. This also allows me to see different opinions on a single story. When I read a story, I usually check the sources that are cited to find any bias in them, and it is more credible when there is less bias in it. One way that I would approach a political story is by watching Cable Public Affairs Channel (CPAC) for the entire unedited press conference, and then later watching the news channels to see how it is covered and what is highlighted.
Also, when a guest is interviewed, you have to find out about their views in general to find out if their thoughts on a topic is fact based or biased by personal feeling or doctrine. With internet news, fake news can look so obviously unreal because it is too good or too drastic to be true. These are similar to the types of stories that you would see in tabloid magazines, which might be one reason why I think Trump dislikes and is treating some news organizations so poorly. Another simple way I spot a news source that isn’t credible is by looking at the design of the website to see how well it is organized. Credible news websites often have a simple and high-quality design and the layout makes it easy to find citations. The story being accompanied with a photo that is obviously photoshopped makes it likelier to be fake. Also, when checking the sources, you can go through its facts to see if they actually support the point in the story or if they’ve been angled to look like they do.
While social media is another way to get news, it is mostly useful as a notification system for me when breaking news happens (as long as you get information from credible news sources and verified accounts). Lots of information from social media is not legitimate information. It can also be credible but not yet confirmed—or even misleading. As long as you know the basics of news, you should be able to find credible and accurate stories using your own judgement. Make sure to check the reliability of your sources before giving your opinions on various topics, it is essential.