As a millennial myself, I understand that free speech is far more comprehensive than ever before, thanks to the internet. I find it interesting that there was a time that only 2 major news networks were televised. Then called WNBT and WCBW, NBC and CBS must have felt experimental for all parties involved. Yet even before then, The Wall Street Journal was still reaching millions of readers through their print publication.
It feels as if we have grown accustomed to watching news-like programs in the way that we are accustomed to eating food-like products. News can be hearty, fulfilling, and useful for us if we choose to create and consume it correctly. As Americans, we get a healthy dose of mainstream media daily, everywhere that we go. We watch the news while eating breakfast, and listen to the radio on the way to work. It’s not difficult to find the news, it sort of just finds us. It seems as though these platforms feel comfortable replacing accuracy with consistency. For example, on a consistent basis, news networks use polls for their audience to observe in order to determine who they think is winning an election. You know, because 10 out of 10 participators surely answer polls.
The more people that a network can influence, the more that that network can influence each person. This makes it dangerous to only have a handful of mainstream sources. Therefore, it becomes blatantly important that we follow several sources in order to gather reliable information. In most cases, this will include local, international, and everything in between. It also proves evident that we should base credibility of researchers/journalists off of their work rather than their platform.
In recent weeks, popular media sources have demanded that certain topics be dismissed as “fake news” before even referring to sources that have provided factual evidence. This allows for viewers to assume that teleprompter-reading “journalists” who serve for major brands have already done their own research. Simultaneously, major social sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, and YouTube are actively censoring pages that discuss news-related topics that these mainstream outlets claim to be fake.
Here’s one last example of what “fake news” might sound like: