By THE BLUE & GRAY PRESS STAFF
Between the coverage of the 2017 campaign cycle and the ongoing unpredictable antics of President Trump, the media is having a field day, so to speak, with the constant influx of news worthy information that has been up for grabs the past couple of months.
Among many obstacles they face, who breaks the story first falls heavy on the shoulders of media outlets both major and minor. A quick turn around can often lead to the questioning of accuracy.
However, the recent flood of fake news is more than a false date or misspelled name. For example, a recently fabricated story had circulated that Hillary Clinton ran a child sex ring out of a pizza parlor in Washington D.C., leading a man to open fire inside the restaurant.
As you can see fake news is not only harming credible journalists who have built their careers on honest and ethical reporting, but, it also puts the lives of individuals in danger by reporting malicious and deliberate lies.
While the First Amendment protects the freedom of press, we should also raise the question of ethical responsibility, especially of those who hold the power to influence millions of people.
We as consumers have put faith in the media to be responsible in reporting objective and accurate information. Fake news sites have taken advantage of the lax approach of today’s readers who expect to be fed the truth when looking for answers.
This being said, the responsibility also falls in the hands of the consumer. It is our job to pay attention to the details, look for inaccurate information, fact check news sites that we are unfamiliar with and be cautious of reports that seem false.
According to The New York Times, both Google and Facebook have taken action against fake news leeching on to their sites.
Google stated they would ban all websites that peddle fake news from using the online advertising service not long after the top result on a Google search for “final election vote count 2016,” linked a fake story reporting that President Trump won the popular vote.
Facebook jumped in as well, making an effort to clarify its ad policy, adding fake news sites to the list of content in which ads will not be displayed. The media play a large role in shaping the way we process information. With the press of a button information is spread online to millions of people. As such, we at The Blue & Gray Press understand the responsibility we have to the public and we place a great deal of importance on ethical standards and integrity.