Here’s a prime example of what I teach and talk about in every “Media Intel” program, whether it’s media training or giving people insider’s knowledge on what the media has become in America.
There is little more important and worth defending in American than freedom of the press. It remains one of the hallmark reasons why this country stands head and shoulders above the rest.
This freedom does indeed come with a cost. Thanks to social media, we are daily bombarded with what amounts to a deluge of information, factual and fraud. Much of what is little more than lies or simple meant as clickbait is easy to see thru. Yet they are becoming more insidious, more cunning, and more persuasive to those who don’t feel the need to seek the truth.
This CNN article here is correct in many ways. We are all reporters in a sense, with a global access to presenting information we could not have imagined a mere decade ago. And as such, it is up to us to use it wisely.
For instance, here is an article that was recently posted by a friend who I’m not sure was putting it up as joke or actually believes in it. I would hope it’s the latter because he’s a very educated individual when it comes to climate science. Yet it’s easy to discover the truth that this is a fraud, and it doesn’t take much effort.
NASA has never said such things. It’s a fabricated story, taking certain clauses and phrases from various reports and stitching them together to be little more than a fear tactic. It’s meant to speak to a certain group of people who deny climate science, and most of those are of a certain political leaning.
The article is posted by what I call a “clickbait” website, one that exists only to make money by gaining clicks. A simple search of the web will find this article nowhere else, and certainly not one any of the legitimate press sites.
Just look at the URL. “newsbereakapp.com”? From “Hype Stat”, a non-partisan website that ranks every site, the following: “According to Alexa Traffic Rank newsbreakapp.com is ranked number 479,705 in the world and 0.00022% of global Internet users visit it.”
It took me 30 seconds to find that. If this were a reputable site with actual news, don’t you think more people would visit it?
Now for those who say “the fake news media (meaning more often than not the sites, newspapers and networks that are truly legitimate), would never report this”, you’re wrong. This, if true, would be an explosive story that could not be avoided. No matter what an editorial board believes, it would be news. But it’s not. It’s fake. Phony. Has no truth to it whatsoever. It is there merely to entice those who believe everything they read on the Internet is true.
And of course, that is far from the truth.
Actually, let’s go back to a time before there was an Internet. Fake news has been blaring in our faces for decades. These are actual front pages of a publication that was always on the grocery store shelves and in magazine shops everywhere.
Funny, but of course not true. Yet there are people who believe it to this day.
Posting and furthering such stories damages your integrity. It damages to others your ability to hold meaningful conversation. It says to many that you’re gullible and easily manipulated. Which is not what you should ever want for your reputation.
Frankly, to some people, it would make you appear as dumb as dirt.
Learn the difference between the fake and what is real. You have the necessary tools before you. You’re reading this on one of them. And it doesn’t take long at all to discern the truth.
Be above the clickbait artists and refuse to allow them to sway your opinion to what will damage your reputation and your integrity.
Be smarter. Be more informed. Be someone who refuses to be taken for a sucker.