Media Analysis of Fake News

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Media inaccuracies has affected society across the United States and even on a global scale. Fake news is a neologism often used to refer to fabricated news. This type of news, found in traditional news, social media or fake news websites, has no basis in fact, but is presented as being factually accurate. Many individuals come to question a lot of these media outlets because of the false information given. It comes down to the journalist and how invested they are into their work and performing the functions, which is not enough morally speaking (Borden, Tew 2007, pg. 3).

Social media being a one of the major issues in publication of fake news. Also, Social bots known as fake pages making it a career to spread fabricated news through the media. Looking into moral commitment, conspiracy theories, and social media like twitter and as main reasons behind why fake news has become such a norm and hasn’t been able to be stopped. All the people want is to be able to rely on the internet for accurate information and news.

Being a journalist is where it starts and what it takes to actually report real news to the public. Is it just performing your basic job functions? No, it’s actually not you have to actually “live it, be it then just act it” (Borden, Tew 2007, pg. 1). Excellent journalists demonstrate correspondence between intention and performance—in other words, they have integrity as journalists. (Borden, Tew 2007, pg. 4). When you choose this career path you know your role and your supposed to live up to those expectations.

When you report something that distorts the truth it makes people question your commitment to the company and the people. It goes beyond just doing your job to become a good journalist it’s about making it your duty to report the truth and being unbiased when publishing it. “Good journalists try to match their performances, as journalists, to the practice’s moral narrative.” (Borden, Tew 2007, pg. 5). In a world of good journalist you wouldn’t don’t get questioned for published work because you work hard to get exclusives and find reliable sources. This is how it should be across the board and it’s not unfortunately.

One concept of media inaccuracies is your moral commitment as a journalist. You have a duty to give the audience the important news for the day and facts. When it comes to assumptions or beliefs when reporting that’s when someone can question your reporting because your judgement becomes clouded. In certain situations you may feel strongly about a topic when you report you can sway your reader into changing their mind on a certain topic or have a different approach on a situation. This is what a lot of reporters do when publicizing fabricated news to the media. Usually this happens during election time and the person publishing the fake news wants you to believe something about a certain candidate. There isn’t supposed to be any biased in your articles because you want the audience to have an opinion of their own which is where your moral commitment comes in.

A perfect example below where Junior was killed over a mistaken identity but it the first couple days they were saying he was killed over a sex tape and people consider it to be fake news. It was true people were saying a lot of false things till days later people found out the truth and felt very bad about it. A lot of people said sorry about what they were saying on social media. This is part of the reporter’s fault having the public believe this young boy had something to do with it. The media was so infested in this case they followed it for weeks it’s all I read on social media. The news was late when it came to publish the truth and this is why many individuals come to question how reliable the media really is. Below are two screenshots one demonstrating CBS a reliable news outlet saying the boy was killed over a sex tape and then calls it apparent mistaken identity. The other photo is a screen shot of a video where a guy explains the media and the news let him to believe this young boy was killed over a sex tape.

Journalist can learn a worthwhile lesson if they take these ethical lessons into consideration when it comes to fake news. For example “Stewart reminds journalist and the audience that at times, journalist need to embrace a subjective stance and call it like they see it rather than hide behind objectivity (Borden, Tew 2007, pg. 16). This just demonstrates that you have to be less emotional when reporting the news and also to report the truth.

Based on the 2016 election there was a lot fake being published on websites and social media. The main reasoning for providing fake news is when articles go viral on social media they would gain revenue when user clicks on website and sees an advertisement and motivation is ideological. Recent evidence shows that 62 percent of US adults get news on social media (Gottfried and Shearer 2016);  the most popular fake news stories were more widely shared on Facebook than the most popular mainstream news stories (Silverman 2016); many people who see fake news stories report that they believe them (Silverman and Singer-Vine 2016); and the most discussed fake news stories tended to favor Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton (Silverman 2016).” The election had over 197 fake stories just prior to the election with getting over 40 million views roughly.

Usually you can identify a fake news articles because they have the names of their websites resembling reliable ones just to trick the user. For example ABCnews.com, Denver Guardian, CNN-breaking.com, etc. For the most part reporters hide their identity on fake news sites when revealed some say they do it for their own personal advancement, to help a certain person, or help a topic that is trending like Paul Horner who mimicked ABC news website. “Reputational concerns discourage mass media outlets from knowingly reporting false stories, higher entry barriers limit false reporting. Conspiracy theories are people who believe that a certain organization is to blame for a certain event. This has also been a major problem when reporting fake news.

On numerous accounts of our past I have seen people believe these stories that are false for example Obama being from another country, US government knew 9/11 was coming a consciously did nothing about it, and Bush administration misleading the public about evidence that Iraq banned weapons. According to statistics in the article “Previously reported statistics for the ratio of page visits to shares of stories on social media would suggest that the 38 million shares of fake news in our database translates into 760 million instances of a user clicking through and reading a fake news story, or about three stories read per American adult (Allcott, Gentzkow 2017, pg.212). Which proves that most fake news is coming from Twitter and Facebook.

Looking into two major social media websites we could suggest that it is one of major reasons fake new is published so easily nowadays is because of these websites. Facebook has about one billion active users and Twitter has about 330 million. This is a huge number and from that you can conclude that it is in fact an easy way to get users to click things of interest that may or may not be true. The people are manipulated into believing these websites monitor what is published and handle it but that isn’t true and it’s a major issue the media is facing.

They don’t know who to believe because their favorite site to visit doesn’t even have the truth and no one is educated on reliable new outlets that many like myself chose to not even know what is going on with the world because it’s all questionable. Also, if something that is false is posted on these takes multiple people to realize it and report the information, which can take a few days to be taken down. By then millions of people could’ve viewed the information. It’s really hard because you just don’t know what to believe anymore. Social media is getting better at giving the people what they are looking for. According to an article on USATODAY, “Google is the greatest information-finding machine in the history of the world. That’s good. And bad.

It’s helpful because now we can track down information to help us live our daily lives. But it’s also dangerous because it provides easy access to crackpot conspiracy theories and rarely presents searchers with disconfirming evidence. Microsoft researcher Ryan White concluded in a study that “search engines strongly favor a particular, usually positive, perspective, irrespective of the truth.” It’s a recipe for confirmation bias, which super charges the spread of bogus information (Bomey, 2018).”

Each article is mapped along three axes representing the percentages of different types of messages that share it: original tweets, retweets, and replies. Color represents the number of articles in each bin, on a log-scale (Chengcheng Shao, Giovanni Luca Ciampaglia, Onur Varol, Alessandro Flammini, and Filippo MenczerIndiana University, Bloomington 2017, pg. 5). This just demonstates how fake news spreads on twitter. When someone believes a story they will retweet and make others look into it. Fake news will always have those people who believe their information because they don’t know about fact checking the articles accuracy.

In conclusion, Fake news has affected us on a global scale and is only going to get worse unless we put a stop to it. According to a article on Forbes “There are reasons why we struggle under the weight of fake or worthless content. Every 60 seconds, 160 million emails are sent, 98,000 tweets are shared on Twitter, 600 videos are uploaded to YouTube and 1,500 blog entries are created. Nobody but a machine could keep up with it all.” One way to make sure you’re not believing fake news make sure you fact check these articles. You can look at snopes.com, factcheck.org or politifact.com these will tell you if these news articles are reporting the truth. As this should be a moral commitment for most journalist some have the urge to be biased and fabricate the news. Artificial Intelligence will take it to the next level if they could come up with a software to detect fake news when its posted. This has not been done yet but is a necessity in moving forward with reducing the amount of fake news published.

Cite this paper

Media Analysis of Fake News. (2021, Mar 20). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/media-analysis-of-fake-news/

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