“Fake news:” we hear this phrase a lot these days but what does it actually mean? The truth of the matter is it really depends on who you ask.
Being a relatively new phrase, there are few definitions for it and those that do exist lack consistency.
The Collins Dictionary is one of a small group of dictionaries to officially add the term and they did it in a big way. Collins Dictionary named “fake news” as their 2017 word of the year. They define fake news as “false, often sensational, information disseminated under the guise of news reporting.”
I feel this is the definition most of us would come up with if we had to do so, but I also believe it’s missing a critical part. Fake news isn’t just a reporting that’s false, it’s also reporting in a way that doesn’t include all the facts. By reporting a story and leaving facts out, consumers of the media are left with a less than accurate picture of the story.
A perfect example of this is CNN’s reporting on President Donald Trump and his administration. On numerous occasions, CNN has published stories that are flat-out false or leave out facts in order to convey a liberal political agenda. A small list of CNN’s false stories is found on The Daily Caller.
This brings up an important question: is the term “fake news” defeating free press or is it correcting the falsehoods spread by today’s politically driven media? It’s my opinion the term and the act of calling news organizations on it is perfectly within our rights as citizens and within the rights of our politicians.
For too long a liberally biased media has lied to, misinformed and withheld facts from the public to push their agenda and get their politicians elected. The fact that our president and other politicians have begun to fight back against the fake news pushed by the mainstream media is proof that the system is working. Organizations that report the truth will continue to grow and prosper while those who don’t will shrink and fail.
Keep in mind, fake news isn’t just pushed by mainstream media organizations. It’s also pushed by foreign governments and people in their basements.
While the fake news is often easy to pick out when it’s pushed on Facebook and Twitter by some alternative news sources, it doesn’t mean you aren’t getting the same size of fake news on semi-legitimate news sources like MSNBC and CNN.
The key to defeating “fake news” is getting your news from more than one source. In addition, always figure out where the organizations are getting their facts and make sure you’re getting the whole story. Above all, if it sounds and looks fake, it probably is.