The Compass

The Truth in Journalism Matters

Mira Heineman, Staff Reporter

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There has been a lot of controversy regarding “fake news” lately.  President Donald Trump claims that CNN, The Washington Post, and New York Times are fake news. How can you be sure whether the news you watch or read is real or fake? Journalism has changed. It used to be typed out and printed and everyone use to pick it up from newsstands and read it. Now, people get their news from Facebook or Buzzfeed or they don’t even know what’s going on in the world from getting information from reputable news sources.

The History of American journalism began in 1960. Journalism in America began as a humble affair and became a political force in the campaign for American independence. You can barely find news that is considered legitimate journalism any more. What you find now are misleading stories or false stories. Just how do you know what’s real or not?

Being a genuine journalist is very important and essential to the field of news. Kathryn “Kate” Adie is an great  example of being considered a genuine journalist/reporter. She famously reported live and unscripted on the London Iranian Embassy siege in 1980, while crouched behind a car door among exploding smoke bombs and soldiers. She did a report unscripted that showed what was happening right before her while she risked her own life to report on what was happening while under seige. She was also working as a freelance reporter where she had no connections with an actual newspaper or broadcasting institution. Networks sometimes can persuade others into “bending” the truth, or while working for such a big platform can make someone feel pressure to just put something out by a deadline. We need to remind ourselves, and every other journalist needs to remind themselves, to be the most honest they can be so we can rely on those in the journalism field to report real news.

The ability to tell accurate news from fake news is an important skill that you’ll use for the rest of your life. How to know if news is fake?  The authors might not even be experts (journalists). Do research on the authors of articles seem fishy? If it can’t be found anywhere else when you look up the main idea of the article you might not find anything. The article may come from a fake site. Make sure the website has a credible url. Lastly, make sure you don’t believe everything you read, especially if it’s from a social media site or any uncommon website. Do your research before believing in an article.

Journalism could go one of two ways. Journalism could exceed with the resources and technology we have these days, and new resources and technology that we have coming. Teachers could use some of the class time to have students read or watch the news then have group conversations about the issues going on in the world around them. Maybe even have the students post one important topic going on in the world on their social media at least once a month to spread the word. Maybe journalists becoming more real with their stories and, at as a result of that, reporters would be taken more seriously again. From people taking them seriously again, readers and viewers could get inspired to make a change just from reading an article.

Respect for the press

There is more to news than social media.

could become worse than it is now. The only news left are articles on Facebook or funny representation of issues in the world on television. The way of telling if an news article is fake is really thinking about what you are reading and doing your research. If we all get smarter about figuring out if something is false on our own then maybe we can all shut down the fake articles and rumors that are simply false.  

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Ratings don't last.  Great journalism does. - Dan Rather
The Truth in Journalism Matters