The nation is in danger of being controlled by fake news but the situation can be turned around. Conspiracy theories, algorithms that pick up likes on Facebook and send them to 1 million members and Fox News personalities who repeat made up “information” all affect how we feel about our nation.
- This can be changed by journalists who ask: Is it accurate? Is it fair? Is it honest? said Scott Pelley, CBS Evening News anchor. A “report” that the pope endorsed Trump was spread as real “news” when the pope did not suggest or favor any candidate. This example, Pelley said, shows how a report was not checked out.
By investigating, asking questions and looking for several sources to verify a report, fake news can be eradicated. Entertaining and popular “journalists” cannot accurately report unbiased news, Pelley said in a talk at Arizona State University earlier this month. Trained journalists talk to citizens, sources and public officials and use public records as part of their reporting. Fake news often is based on gossip, sensationalism or what will garner clicks and attention while ignoring how it damages democracy.