When it comes to newspapers, there is hardly a day that goes by without another story appearing in the news. Examples of news include political speeches by U.S. Presidents (where they express personal facts about an ongoing event that affects the nation) and major news stories that appear online or in newspapers. While it may be true that all news is a fabrication of the media and the public to help keep them informed, when newspapers and TV present fake news they play into the hands of those who create the news and these fake news outlets tend to be left-leaning and have a liberal slant.
Fake news sources in the past have been widely recognized by the press and the public. In fact, the New York Times has a long list of their Fake News category including items that have been deemed “Mostly False” by the newspaper. Many different news sources, both traditional and online, make this list. A famous example of a news source creating fake news involves the September 11th Attack in America. Although it was a terrorist attack, there were many people who reported themselves as being injured and this news source, the Internet, disseminated this false information to millions of people within minutes of it occurring.
Another problem with many fake news sources is their lack of credibility. Fake news sources frequently publish false information which they know will be easily disputed. As a result, they are given very little chance to convince the public and therefore the credibility of their news source vanishes almost as soon as the item is published. This can have a significant impact on the performance of any given news source. For example, if a major newspaper such as the New York Times repeatedly publishes false stories about a high gas price, consumers will question why they would even bother buying fuel at all, while other consumers simply don’t care, thus saving gasoline money.
Fake news stories are also notorious for overstretching the truth in an effort to create a larger news story than what it really is. In some cases, this is done to purposefully create a public relations disaster for a company or organization. In other cases, the mistake is accidentally made in reporting a more controversial event than actually occurred. A prime example of this is the recent Gulf of Mexico oil spill that took place off the coast of Louisiana, when in reality, officials said that no oil had spilled at all.
Fake news stories are also often broadcast on various media outlets, especially in local news stations. For example, many people may confuse a fire station’s live report about a fire with the actual news report coming in over their airwaves. Similarly, viewers may misunderstand a local news report about a child missing from a school when in reality it was in fact declared a hoax. Even when the actual incident happened, the hoax report from a local news station has caused many people to wrongly believe that a child has indeed been abducted.
Print newspapers and television news agencies also sometimes fail to provide accurate information, either intentionally or by accident. Some examples include printing inaccurate or false weather reports, or reporting emergency situations that have no immediate bearing on the local news agency’s operation. Likewise, newspapers may incorrectly identify people who have committed suicide or homicide. As you can see, mistakes in the documentation process and in the dissemination of important news information can lead to inaccuracies and, ultimately, inaccurate and even fake news items.