With the increasing demand for news and up to date information around the globe, it is no surprise that the spread of fake news and disinformation has become rampant in the world. The people who perpetrate the spreading of the fake news seek to mislead the public in order to achieve some hidden agenda or incite riots to question the credibility of the current news outlets. More often than not, this misinformation is realized only too late, when the damage has already been done.
Another drawback to journalism today is the left and right wing media bias. The left wing media bias is averagely to extreme biased towards liberal causes and may publish misleading news or omit certain news that may jeopardize their liberal causes in order to protect their agenda. The right wing media bias are biased towards conservative causes and may achieve this through selective wording, story selection and deliberate omission of some stories. The dissemination of fake news, left and right wing bias are all major drawbacks in journalism. So how do we deal with these drawbacks to ensure the public gets the real news?
One way to deal with fake news is through invention of technology and algorithm programs that help identify fake news and disinformation. This will help not only in bringing the crooks to justice, but also prevent the dissemination of fake news in the first place. The counterpoint or round table approach could be used to prevent left or right wing media bias. In this approach, representatives are chosen to comment on an issue from each side of the bias, that is a liberal covert and a conservative one, This is popular among debates in media houses.
Another way of dealing with fake news would be to incapacitate financial incentives to make profit from the spreading of fake news which will discourage the perpetrators. Reassignment or dismissal of reporters who are biased may also be effective in dealing with left and right wing bias especially when there is a conflict of interest. Other ways of dealing with fake news include requirement for real name registration of accounts to prevent creation of fake accounts and promote accountability.
Also, funding endeavours that promote news literacy and following a diverse range of people will ensure you get different perspectives and thus reduce possibility of getting fake news. Being skeptical on news outlets could also help. Having laws that regulate balance on media could help control the left and right wing bias.
Sources are those people or things that relay news to journalists. The credibility of a source depends on the past experience in relaying correct information, bias and position they are in. Sources may be witnesses to a crime, secondary sources, written sources, leaked documents, photographers, fellow reporters or tip-offs.
A trusted source is one that relays correct information and which can be verified, for example, leaked documents from the clerk at the Mayor’s office may be considered trustworthy since the clerk works there and it is possible for them to have obtained the documents. Other evaluations of trust can be contextual or based on the personal instinct of the journalist.