What the world needs now in addition to love is wisdom.
Monday, December 19, 2016
King Solomon, Fake News, Mark Twain
What does fake news have to do with cigarettes?
The current hot topic in the news is ‘fake news.’ I believe most people would agree that if news is ‘fake,’ it is not the truth. However, for some reason the current news slang terminology describes false news reports as fake’ instead. Why and what news sources?
Mass Media Journalism
In my opinion, the reputation of mass media sources is no longer believed or trusted. The civic purpose of journalism is to provide people with the information they need to be free and self-governing?
Instead, many now believe that mass media is controlled by special interests.
USA Government Agencies
Many people, and governments, no longer have confidence in USA Government Agency Reports. They may believe the news or information being presented is based on political motives rather than truth. For example, the CIA under Bush reported Iraq had nuclear weapons. The recent FBI report on Clinton email, and now the statements that link Putin to hacking are suspect of political bias propaganda. Employment percentage reports do not report the number of people who have given up looking for jobs.
In other words, the USA Government Agencies reputations are also suspect of truth.
Modern technology has produced an internet of social media communication. The combination of an opportunity to make money from commercial ads by reporting news to obtain blog hits, or personal opinions of social media writers is compromised.
To put it in perspective of history, the news being reported on social media can be compared to the old days of the ‘wild west.’ Instead of lack of law and order, it is lack of truth being spread on the internet.
Truth and Wisdom
Truthful reporting and source reputations have been an a issue in ancient times as evidenced by proverbs and ancient wise sayings as well as recent history. Some examples are as follows:
King Solomon 1000 BC
Truthful speech lasts forever, but false speech only for a moment. (Proverb 12:19)
A good reputation is more valuable than costly perfume. And the day you die is better than the day you are born. (Ecclesiastes 7:1)
Good news from far away is like cold water to the thirsty.(Proverb 25:25)
Mark Twain 1863
“A newspaper is not just for reporting the news as it is, but to make people mad enough to do something about it.”
“If you don’t read the newspaper, you’re uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you’re mis-informed.”
What to Do In My Opinion, and Cigarettes?
I wrote a series of posts titled, King Solomon, Mass Media, Journalism, Bias. I explained the only idea I could think of to help reduce what is now being called fake news reporting. It is the same solution that the USA made cigarette suppliers do to warn smokers of the danger and harmful health effects of using their products.
The idea is to attempt to improve the health of our nation in the same context that a law was passed fifty years ago to post warnings on cigarettes. While there is controversy of this being effective or not, the end result is a reduction of smoking has occurred in our nation by us having a conversation about the unhealthy effects of smoking.
In the same context, I believe we now need to Identify and remind all journalists reporters of their public duty to present news in a fair and objective manner. We also need a Congressional conversation to focus on the danger of bias and hypocritical journalism in order to improve the health of our nation.
If you think about the health of our nation in relation to fake news reporting, and the fact that truth has always been, since ancient times, and always will be a problem, what other solution is possible in a nation of free speech?
If you have a better solution or opinion, I am interested in your comments.