Nature photography, political rants, and Martyman laughs from the ten-time award-winning author Marty Essen

Fake news and alternative media

Yesterday I posted a rant about how Republicans have co-opted the term “fake news” for nefarious purposes. In response, someone suggested that mainstream news sources could not be trusted because they were all owned by a small number of huge corporations. While I agree that giant media conglomerates are troubling, that does not automatically make alternative news sources more trustworthy. Here’s why:

Most alternative media do not employ actual journalists who went to college for journalism, vetted and verified sources, and an editor who insists on accuracy. If you trust some hack news website over the Associated Press, the New York Times, the Washington Post, or even your local newspaper, you open yourself up to scams and actual fake news.

An example of good journalism is the Washington Post, who sat on the Jared Kushner/Russian story for months because they could not verify a tip they received. Only last week, once they had numerous reliable sources, did they publish the story. Had it been on the other side of the coin (something to take down a liberal), Breitbart News, Infowars, or The Blaze would have put out the story immediately, simply because it fit their political philosophy.

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