Real News versus Fake News

Do you know the difference between fake news and real news?

Fake news skips out on a crucial part of newstelling: what next.

Now I know that news stories are supposed to tell who, what, when, where, why, and how.  But that’s the easy part.

I just read an article about rape in Congo.  The descriptions of women’s suffering were graphic– and gratuitous.  How dare you tell me where, when, why, and with what women are being raped if you don’t tell me how I can help?  Who can I donate to?  Can I put up a refugee in my home?  How do I find out which humanitarian aid groups are over there so I can contribute to the cause?

Now I am a librarian and I can research these things.  But what good is a reporter in the Congo if she doesn’t tell me how I can help?  Why publish a story about horrible thing?  Am I supposed to just sit here in my office, perfectly safe, and think, “Oh my god, how terrible!” and then go refill my coffee?

Fuck no!  I am sitting here in horror wondering what I can do to help.  A good reporter– a good human being— would understand this and would be advocating on the behalf of rape victims in the Congo.  Reporters reach hundred of thousands of people a day.  But they don’t really expect me to care about this. 

A Real News organization will end every story or every program with action points and aid organizations and congresspeople to write to.

I don’t think there is any such thing as Real News.

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One Response to “Real News versus Fake News”

  1. truthwalker Says:

    Somebody once told me this: I don’t watch TV because I don’t believe in slavery.

    They explained: when the networks sell advertising, what is it that they are selling that is worth thousands of dollars a minute?

    Advertising, I said.

    Wrong, they said. Advertising is what goes into the time slot they sold, not what they are selling. So what are they selling? An audience, in short, you.

    They are selling your time for thousands of dollars a minute, and what do you get? A cheap laugh, or bit of titillation.

    The news is a product, like all other products the seller is concerned with cost effective production. Sensation is very very cheap compared to real, skeptical journalism. Research is one of the most expensive things on earth. Besides, why report in a way that might make people think? Thinking people don’t buy shit they don’t need, and the purpose of advertising is to sell shit. Good products sell themselves, only shit needs advertising. For news networks (supported by ads) making people think would be a very bad idea.

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