Is All News 'Fake News'?
Could Donald Trump be right about ‘fake news’? “The media is the biggest problem we have as far as I’m concerned, the single biggest problem, the fake news. We won this election, and we won it by a landslide.”
Fake news refers to articles, images, and/or videos that contain information that is factually incorrect or disguised as ‘real news.’
Separating 'Fact' from 'Fake'
According to Duke Reporters’ Lab, there are over 135 fact-checking projects active in 51 countries.
Yet, online resource AllSides states, “Unbiased news does not exist” and has crafted a media bias rating so people can “easily identify different perspectives so you can get the full picture and think for yourself.”
Source: “Balanced News via Media Bias Ratings for an Unbiased News Perspective.” AllSides, 28 May 2019, www.allsides.com/
Built In Biases
Psychology Today defines bias as “A tendency, inclination, or prejudice toward or against something or someone.”
Our brain is cognitively designed to process information by selecting from over 188 accuracy reducing short-cuts, and no one is exempt from their brain’s programming. With so much bias, is all content ‘fake news’?
CLICK HERE TO ENLARGE & EXPLORE
Source: Design: John Manoogian IIIcategories and descriptions: Buster Bensonimplementation: TilmannR, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
Source: The Problem with Cognitive Bias in Journalism | Paul Bradshaw
So What’s the ‘Truth’?
Only you, as the consumer of media and information, can answer that.
Years ago, I interviewed New York Times bestselling author Arielle Ford, who said, “Perfection equals pure-fiction.” I often quote her when speaking with leaders and team members who endeavor to be ‘perfect’ to gain professional success and notoriety but often fail. My question to them is, “Whose version of perfection are you striving towards?”
Similarly, ‘truth’ is in the eye of the beholder.
Read, watch, listen, and decide what’s aligned with your beliefs and values.
Aim to be curious, explore, and consider what you believe today may change tomorrow. After all, there are over 140,000,000 search results from many reputable media agencies, saying nobody proclaimed the Earth was flat and the Greeks thought it was round all along.
“Balanced News via Media Bias Ratings for an Unbiased News Perspective.” AllSides, 28 May 2019, www.allsides.com/.
“Bias.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, www.psychologytoday.com/au/basics/bias.
“A Big Year for Fact-Checking, but Not for New U.S. Fact-Checkers.” Duke Reporters’ Lab, 13 Dec. 2017, reporterslab.org/big-year-fact-checking-not-new-u-s-fact-checkers/.
Dastagir, Alia E. “Anyone Can Fall for ‘Fake News,’ Conspiracy Theories: The Psychology of Misinformation.” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 14 Jan. 2021, www.usatoday.com/story/life/health-wellness/2021/01/14/capitol-violence-fake-news-psychology-conspiracy-theories/6636395002/.
“File:Cognitive Bias Codex En.svg.” File:Cognitive Bias Codex En.svg – Wikimedia Commons, commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cognitive_bias_codex_en.svg.
Kahneman, Daniel, et al. Judgment under Uncertainty: Heuristics and Biases. Cambridge University Press, 2018.