The term “fake news” has been much in the news since the 2016 election. Unfortunately, it is not usually defined in any clear fashion. The implication is that the media engages in deliberate distortion and misrepresentation of the news. Not just any media, but most of the media, commonly referred to as the “mainstream media,” have been accused of distributing “fake news.”
Recently, I read an extended critique of the media that put everything in quite a different light. It is something I believe every working journalist should read. Sixty short pages that explain that not only is there a distinct bias in the mainstream media, but why this is the case. What is of most importance to note is that this bias is not deliberate. It exists on a subconscious level and influences everything the media does. And it does not matter whether the particular media outlet has a left or a right slant.
The author, Robin Koerner, has a masters degree in the philosophy of science and physics from Cambridge. The information is in the first chapter of his book If You Can Keep It: Why We Nearly Lost It & How We Get It Back, a chapter he calls “Mediography.”
Bias Exists Within All of Us
A paradigm is a framework within which someone observes and comments on the world.
The best way to explain the points he makes is to start with an example. Here is a headline from the Drudge Report dated November 2006: “Iran Fires Missile That Can Reach Israel.” The headline is factually accurate. It is not deliberately biased. But, Koerner argues, it is misleading. It could be considered fake news (though Koerner does not use those terms)….click on the above link to read the rest of the article…