Today, “Fake News” is “Big News.” A significant cause is the decline of newspapers; that is, the deterioration of institutions committed to journalism. Journalism is being displaced by online, social media publishing whose websites shun journalistic responsibility to actively seek the truth but claim journalistic protection to conceal sources. The result is that online, profit-generated “Free News,” protected by the First Amendment, is often “Fake News”— occasionally “Dangerously Fake News.”
The 24/7 news channels aggravate the situation, appealing to “bubbles” of popular bias within society that correlate with higher ratings and trending short-term headlines — such as a latest tweet storm — instead of highlighting vital, long-term information — such as the potential melting of Greenland’s ice cap that would cause rising sea levels of 20 feet or more.
Support our local newspaper, and perhaps one of larger scope with a solid reputation. As always, buyer beware — we get what we pay for.
Dan Biezad, San Luis Obispo
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