“Fake News” and “Bias News”

Oh boy, it’s a topic that seems to beaten like a nail in the wall by a hammer, but I feel like it needs to be addressed yet again. Being a journalism major, studying journalism, and also working in the journalism industry (granted not for long), I especially get sick of the way the term “fake news” is thrown around, when in context the correct term would be “bias” not “fake”.

Let’s get one thing straight, here’s your basic list of media bias. Left bias = CNN, MSNBC, CBS, The New York Times, etc. Right bias = FOX News, Breitbart, Conservative Tribune, Wall Street Journal, etc. The measure on the scale of bias on every publication varies. Some are more moderate than others, and some are more extreme than others. For example, The Daily Beast is an extreme left biased publication, and Breitbart is an extreme right biased publication.

A friend once told me that basically in the real world, journalism bias is a thing that is unavoidable and the idea that all journalism should be moderate with no bias is a fantasy. As time goes by I agree. The American people need to get it through their heads that when they read or watch CNN or FOX News shows that you know you are going to get a biased. So, to point out this bias a thousand times is basically like sticking a fish in and out of water constantly. It should be common knowledge at this point that there is a media bias with each major publication, local networks sometimes differ.

And then there’s the “fake news” thing. Look, just because CNN has an exclusive story on some Republican scandal doesn’t automatically make it fake off the bat. Donald Trump’s presidency has gone off the deep end with this idea that “NBC is doing a story, fake. New York Times is doing a story, fake.” When more often than not, these stories aren’t fake given the number of sources. Now, the sources can be wrong, that happens in journalism and has happened to me before, but should the publication suffer? Or get ridiculed on a daily basis because of it?

Let’s look at FOX News, recently they’re under fire for pushing a conspiracy theory, mostly in part thanks to Sean Hannity. FOX News pulled the story. Alright, they made a mistake and corrected it. So, if CNN and NBC have to do the same they should get the same treatment right? WRONG, well, according to the “fake news” crowd.

Look people, you don’t have to like one news organization or the other, but for Christ’s sake stop with the “fake news” stuff unless it actually fits. There are indeed fake news sites on both sides of the aisle, but these aren’t the major news networks. These are “news” organizations like, ehm, InfoWars. That by definition, is fake news given the zero amount of evidence on a number of stories they’ve pushed. However, CNN, NBC, FOX News, are not, I repeat ARE NOT, fake. They are BIASED, but not fake. There is a difference, learn it. In fact, let me put the definition of fake and bias below:

 

Fake – not genuine; counterfeit.

Bias – prejudice in favor of or against one thing, person, or group compared with another, usually in a way considered to be unfair.

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