Fake News: How Does It Affect Us?

In a world of clickbait articles and sensationalized reports, it can be easy for people to dismiss any information they don’t agree with as “fake news.” Although there are sources that may be more credible than others (your local news channel vs. your Facebook feed, for instance), the widespread distrust of the news media in general has made it increasingly difficult for our nation to effectively communicate about issues that impact all of us.

Misinformation and the Public

A cursory search on the internet can reveal countless examples of misinformation that people believe to be true, whereas actual research is considered to be “fake news.” For example, have you ever heard of the Flat Earth Society? There are thousands of people around the globe (pun intended) who fully believe our planet is flat, no matter how simply Neil deGrasse Tyson explains otherwise.

While this particular example is kind of humorous, there are plenty of instances where misinformation can cause nationwide confusion and panic. In the most serious cases of misinformed individuals, they may refuse to believe any evidence that contradicts their own ideas, therefore becoming trapped within their own cognitive dissonance.

In this divided nation, the news media is not to blame for the public’s misinformed opinions and beliefs. Instead, it is the responsibility of journalists to write factual articles that inspire readers to keep an open mind, think analytically, and consider changing their minds when presented with new evidence. As a result, it’s often the journalists themselves who face the most negative effects of fake news in 2019.

“Fake News” Journalists

Depending on the topic, conducting research and drafting an article can take several hours to several weeks for journalists. For instance, imagine that you just spent hours researching a certain issue, examining all of the various perspectives that people have about the situation. Next, you have to compile all of these findings, summarize the major areas of concern, clearly explain the issue, and somehow convey all of this information in an engaging way.

Finally, after several hours of painstakingly constructing a well-informed report, you’ll be more than ready to share it online. But first, you’ll have to go back and carefully edit it to make sure there are no grammatical errors or misspelled words. As you may know, a simple error can be enough to convince readers that you’re not a reliable source, even if your article is completely flawless otherwise.

Once you can convince yourself that your article is free from mistakes, imagine the excitement and sense of accomplishment you’ll feel when you publish it online. You can enjoy those positive feelings for a solid 3 minutes before someone comments “fake news” on your post, completely dismissing the research and evidence you provided. This is exactly what journalists have to go through all the time.

Tl;dr: Pouring a ton of time and passion into a blog only to have someone casually dismiss it sucks.

How to Find the Entire Story

Misinformation can spread like wildfire online through wildly sensationalized blog titles, stories that leave out crucial details, and articles that don’t describe the context of specific quotes or situations. Since it can be difficult to differentiate between a person’s opinion and actual facts, here are a few tips for gaining a more balanced and unbiased perspective on current events:

  • Don’t rely on a single news source for all your information.
  • Compare how different news outlets describe the issue at hand.
  • Determine if an article or news segment is describing general information or trying to persuade you to see things from their perspective.
  • Remember that social media is not a news outlet. Please.

Lastly, if you need a well-researched blog for your website, our team of professional writers are here to help you bring your ideas to life. Each writer strives to create high-quality content that informs, entertains, and inspires you and your audience in an effort to make the internet a better place.

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