As summer comes to an end and so does your leisurely reading time, Kiplinger would like to add this blog to your final reading list. Here we offer a short, but helpful tutorial to confront one of the greatest challenges facing American journalism – FAKE NEWS.
Each April during Kiplinger Fellowship Week one of the highest rated workshops we offer is on validation and verification of internet information and images by Steve Myers, editor of The Lens in New Orleans. We’ve written about him before and shared his presentation. His presentation walks journalists through a host of internet slip ups made by ordinary people but hoodwinked the press in the process.
In addendum, we want to share guidelines for spotting fake news from entities like Harvard University. to a renown financial magazine, to an association of librarians (Now you know it’s time to get serious.) And, no report on fake news would be complete without fact checkers weighing in.f course, no advisory on fake news would be fulfilled without an explanation of fake news, because no less than the U.S. President has ill-defined it. It’s not news that you are in disagreement with. It’s news created in dank laboratories of the mind by mischievous people and Eastern European teenagers looking to make a few thousand bucks selling advertising on their bogus news sites.
But, as the Washington Post (often accused of being a fake news bearer by the current administration) opined six months ago, it’s been hijacked and used to mean something different. It’s important that journalists reclaim the rightful definition if they want to battle it and reclaim credibility with the public (an intention of the administration to discredit the press.)
As journalists, of course, we have to ethically disconnect ourselves from creating or advancing fake news. But, it also means we have to be diligent to not inadvertently spread it by not doing a thorough job of vetting it before releasing. Once is too many times for well-intended and legitimate news organizations get caught in a web of deceit as they eagerly attempt to pursue news on deadline. No amount of notoriety for being first of having a scoop is worth the recognition you’ll receive if you get it wrong by advancing someone else’s falsehoods.
Chin up, enjoy the summer and get back in there because fake news doesn’t take a vacation even when you do.