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How Do We know If A News Story is fake ?

Contributed by Samrawit Tesfaye

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A little background as to what is my motivation for writing a journal. I am neither a professional journalist nor a publisher.  But, I have to say I love writing than talking. Writing our thoughts is one of the most beautiful gifts that we all have in hand. I have told myself that I should NOT LIMIT myself to express my thoughts in writing; no matter how many readers that I could get; the fact this is  being my second language (i.e. English), because of  some discouragement or in fear of making mistakes even like a grammar errors. When you write you have to be free, free to express opinion and be free to make a mistake that we can learn from and move forward. We learn as we go, don’t we! How writing could be improved without writing, right? The fun part of writing is that you can keep write as much as you want, BUT can’t be silenced. Writing is therapy, when I get inspired by positive vibes, outraged and sadden that is the time I am desperate to write down.

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Currently, I personally think it is very concerning to witness, how fake news is being circulated at high rate. If we keep walking on this direction, there will be time where we have more made-up news than truths, confusion, and disappointment.

Sometimes, we have more questions in one topic than any exact answer. What if, if our questions could be the answer to the questions that we have asked? It sounds crazy, doesn’t it? Remember, let be yourself free.  So I have just decided to list down my questions and see, if this will open up the answer or guide me through some sort of solution.

Questions:

  • I mentioned above that there is a rapid growing of non-factual news. How do I proof that this is really true? How many statistics should I validate, before I run into any conclusion? What if, if there is not enough research made to proof my point?
  • First, do you believe just like I do, this is a serious problem that we all should pay attention to the widespread of fake news?
  • Recently, have you observed more fake news than any other time before? Or do you believe nothing is really new or different?
  • How do we identify what is real to not?
  • How committed and enthusiastic are we to seek the fact?
  • How much of your time, do you want to give to find the truth? Do you think is it worth of your time or it is a waste of time to research more in depth?
  • What is the best way and approach to inform the misinformed? How do we get engaged in a dialog with the intention of not to insult but, to educate?
  • Are we willing to find and lift the hidden professionals that are working tirelessly but, invisible?
  • Before we share any news, it could be verbally or through social media, do you make enough research to validate the info or you just go ahead and share it?
  • Let’s say, if we came across with breaking news that a very well-known person passed away. Will you share that news instantly? How many reliable resources would you check, before you are convinced it is true and share the news with others?
  • Do you have a source that you really trust, if yes how many and what are the fundamental reasons for you to build your trust?
  • Because one new media has numerous followers, widely broadcast in the worldwide or has been in the industry for many years, would you still have the courage to challenge the information that is being transmitted?
  • At this moment, one thing that we all could agree there are abundant and variety of news medias in different form. What are the pros and cons the fact we have too many of them out there?
  • How do you see social medias in general with respect to factual news? Should we just blame social media in fabricated news or it is end users fault? What steps, the founders’ of the social media should take to fight against the growing number of untrue news? Do you think they should have more filtering mechanism before anything has been posted and shared? Do you even think they really care about this?
  • Is a mini video good enough to say with full confidence this is true or false? Just by reading the headlines of an article, would you jump immediately to leave your comments or share it? Or you prefer to find more evidence to that mini video and maybe read more details of the headlines of the story before you click any button?
  • How affected are you personally, when you see false information? Do you get annoyed, irritated, bothered and angered or you just don’t care say that’s none of your business?
  • What are your expectations from the news agencies and professionals?
  • What are the professional ethics and code of conduct to report news in any form of way and means?
  • What do we mean when we say this news media is biased?
  • What kind of action would you take to proof the fact?
  • What are our responsibilities as a news consumer in our daily life?

These are the list of questions that came on the top of my head and it was very interesting to list them down. I could list more but, I have to say these were enough to say that I am accountable to support a reliable news sources that I have a fundamental reasons to say they are trustworthy. I am accountable to advocate professionals work and stand up when their right to free press is taken. Also, I am in charge to the news that I read, watch, listen and share.  The news media are responsible to be protective of the truth, not to misinform but, inform the facts to their mass audience. The professionals are expected to act professional and fight for their own profession not to fall to the ground. Social Media should play the main role to alert and create awareness to their users from sharing invented news and present a resourceful links.

What are your lists and write down your best possible conclusion or solution that you can think of. Feel free to use the above listed questions and express your opinion with this subject matter

The opinion expressed in this article are that of the writer .

 

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