We have to agree with U.S. President Donald Trump when he says fake news is a problem.
Not however, the way he presents it where every major news organization — CNN, New York Times, Washington Post and whoever else might be on his hit list that day — is lying to the public in order to make him look bad.
He does that all by himself, not the “very dishonest people” in the media. The big players are no more dishonest than your local reporters. We are just people trying to do the best job we can, just like you and everyone else.
Sometimes we will offer our own thoughts, in the form of a column or an editorial, but mostly what we strive to deliver are clear reports on situations, factual and fair to all sides.
But fake news is coming at you from every direction. There are great satire sites, like The Onion, whose work sometimes gets mistaken as real news. Then there is intentionally fake news that spread, like wildfire through social media: outrageous articles designed to create clicks (money), articles made up out of whole cloth to support an agenda (three million illegal voters) and some written by people who think it’s funny to get people believing a lie.
This is where your own critical thinking comes in. Use the same objective method we do: are alternate viewpoints represented? Are sources reputable? If the sources are anonymous, are there other sources backing them up? And most of all, are the facts presented fairly?
The emergence of fake news and President Trump’s bashing of the media has had one good effect: it has encouraged journalists to take a close look at their work and strive to do better.
We can’t tell you what to think nor would we want to, despite what President Trump may be telling you.