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How to detect fake news and what the mainstream media is not telling you

As a professional reporter or editor, how do you detect “fake news” or “alternative facts” on a topic in which you are not expert? What makes you suspicious about the news or fact?
Media professionals had a discussion on LinkedIn and below are their views:
Michael V’inkin Lee I’d like to go into this issue at length, but unfortunately LinkedIn has a character posting limit.
In short:
1) Learn to tell the difference between actual news reports and commentary/opinion columns and shows. The former straight-up tells you what’s happening, the latter delves into analysis (and often pure speculation).
2) Verify a story using other news sites. Compare each outlet’s take on events and pay close attention to the people or sources quoted. The more sources a story has in common across multiple media outlets, the better the odds you’re reading/watching a story that may have traction.
3) Relating to Point No.2, don’t get your news from a small handful of sources restricted to one political orientation. It’s fashionable these days to laugh at the Old Guard like the NYT, WSJ, WaPo, and the like, but these guys have been the industry’s gold standard for more than a century. Your news roster should include content from such papers on top of broadcasts and digital.
Nicole Bailey-Covin I can agree with some of the comments listed, but I don’t agree with the idea that we are stuck with “fake news” and “alternative facts”. In my opinion these are lies being told to unsuspecting consumers, the public. It’s an oxymoron. Nothing can be identified as truth without evidence backing it up. So there is no reason to continue the effort to discredit established, respected media outlets. This is what real Journalists do: Obtain verified sources, press for evidence/supporting information, understand topics through research and interviews, keep asking questions and challenging with curious and skeptical minds. Our reputation as Journalists depends on telling the truth. Unfortunately, today many people are only able to view news as fact if it comes through the lens of their own political affiliations and favorite media. However, when the smoke clears, only what’s true will remain. This whole “fake news” deception is a shorted lived trend designed to distract.
Fake news and what the mainstream media is not telling you

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Jency Jacob I run a fact check website in India. It is not too difficult to detect fake news. Be slow to tweet, share. Check every story using Google search to find if there are multiple sources for it. Despite low trust in mainstream media, our experience says they are our best bet for verified news. And never trust anything that comes on social media unless its backed up by credible media sources you trust.
Lou Carlozo Trump Nation has pretty much made this impossible. Anything from the New York Times or CNN is “fake news” and “the liberal media” to them, while Fox is “fair and balanced.” It doesn’t help that during the election, the real news media was asleep at the switch and gave Donald Trump a pass on everything, from his taxes to his sexual escapades to his entanglements with Russia. The room is so full of smoke at this point, everyone resembles a corpse.
Katie Schwartz, CCC-SLP Thank you for all your helpful tips and comments! I am professionally a speech coach (sometimes for broadcasters who want to improve their diction and other skills) and also an interested citizen. I suspect there are a lot of other confused readers out there who might be interested in stories on how to tell truth from fiction in the news today. I appreciate the time you have taken to educate me.
Tracy Will Job once asked his fellows, “Canst thy tongue discern iniquity?” Very important skill these days and vital to reporters and the public who may be victims of callous pranks disguised as news. How do you “discern iniquity”?
There are tests to determine the veracity of news items, either as revealed by a source or published in a press release that shows up online or in a press box.
1. Attribution- What or who is the source? Is there a number to call to verify? Can you rely on the validity of the information? Is this is source you have used before?
Is this a comment for the record, or a scintillating scrap of gossip?
2. Veracity-Can this comment be verified by a second source? Does the story ring true? Is it believable, or does one want to believe it based on existing prejudices? Smell test of sources, is there a way to determine the motive for the release, or news “event” being described?
3. Skepticism-“Prove it” require source to provide evidence of event-document or tape. Check it.
Annesa L Lacey By conducting thorough (see Nonpartisan) research, citing credible sources. Bottom line: there should be no Right nor Left. There should only be what actually happened.
WGN-TV’s Tom Negovan looked like he was on the verge of tears after midnight when President Trump emerged the clear-cut winner of the Electoral College. (That man was visibly crestfallen.)
Go to YouTube to view a series of videos in which CNN — aka the collapsing Communist Nothingburger Narrative — is staging news.
NYTs has run retractions on stories concerning President Trump on a couple occasions.
The deaths of Seth Rich, Vince Foster, Peter Smith, et al, received far less news coverage than that of women supposedly molested by Trump some 20 years ago.
For goodness’ sake, even Twitter shadowbans & suspends users who push anti-liberal hashtags & tweets.
I really can’t say if the media ever had any integrity. The media was my echo chamber from my first time voting in college (Bill Clinton’s first term), clear up to my defecting immediately following Obama’s first term.
Mainstream (see Liberal) media is a joke. Yes, Fox News is guilty, too.


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