The Advance-Titan

No fake news

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One of the first things you’ll learn as a journalism major is the most important thing to have is credibility. You don’t even need to be a journalism major to care about your credibility—it’s universal.

You don’t see your doctor, hoping he says, “I think you have a respiratory infection” if you come in wheezing and coughing and on the verge of figurative death; you want a doctor to say, “You have bronchitis.”

You don’t have time for that. You need the facts, and you need them now.

We live in a day and age where everyone’s credibility is questioned for the right or wrong reasons. People want to hear what they want to hear. As a journalism major, I think it is the downfall of modern media convergence.

For example, it’s fairly obvious President Donald Trump doesn’t like the media, but for him to call basically every news organization except for Fox News “fake news” does not help current or future journalists in their efforts to spread the news.

A quote by Gary Abernathy says it best: “Unfortunately, when President Trump accuses the mainstream media of being ‘fake news,’ too often the journalists being targeted don’t ignore it or merely address it internally. Instead, they react with public outrage, their popping veins nearly bursting through their thin skins.”

And believe it or not, you may have something to do with the spread of this “fake news” I have to hear about every time I tell people I am a journalism major.

You probably scroll through Facebook and use that as at least one of your sources of news. The standard for most people who scroll through Facebook is that they read the headline, realize they agree or disagree with it and then they share the headline rather than the article.

People don’t like reading—which is understandable—but journalists make an effort to simplify their writing so people can actually read their stuff.

So your share of a blog post about how climate change is a hoax while three different hurricanes plow through the southern part of the United States is a real slap in the face to the scientists who spent time researching and writing credible information.

Your trigger-finger reaction to share the latest headline without fully reading it is a real hit to your credibility. It makes you look like the fool in the end, and before you know it, you might have a full-on brawl happening in the comment section of your post. How annoying.

The old saying goes, “Think before you speak,” and I think it needs to be switched to, “Think before you post.”

Before you hit that share button, click the link; explore it like you were to put it in a research paper for a class you want an A in.

On the other hand, keep sharing the news people refuse to read. Educate yourself and be involved in the ever-changing commentary of the world. Respect people’s opinions, and even discuss those opinions with them.

You just have to read between the lines to find the greatness of this world. Until then, happy sharing, my friends.

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Independent Student Newspaper of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
No fake news