Response: Three Articles That Shocked Me

Misinformation, Hoxes and Hyperpartisan by Lata Nott presented a lot of information I found valuable. I wanted to think, to be hopeful, that as a society we were getting better about “fake news” and I was happily surprised to learn that we are. I wanted to believe that websites like Facebook and Twitter would try to help prevent the flow of misinformation without being ignorant. I’m very happy to know that my hopes are not in vain

“Good news: we kind of have! Unlike in 2016, this election cycle did not have a huge spike in misinformation, according to media researchers at the University of Michigan. Facebook and Twitter were much more vigilant this election cycle. (The night before the election, Facebook shut down 115 accounts for suspected “coordinated inauthentic behavior” linked to foreign groups trying to interfere with the midterms.),” said Nott.

I was also very surprised to learn that 59 percent of links are not clicked on through social media.

Similarly, the statistics produced by a new media consumption study surprised me as well.

“… almost half of the nearly 6,000 American college students surveyed said they lacked confidence in discerning real from fake news on social media. And 36 percent of them said the threat of misinformation made them trust all media less.” said Daniel Funke, author of the article Fake news is making college students question all news.

While Nott positively surprised me and Funke gave even more surprising data, I was purely shocked by the statistics presented by Gene Policinski in the article Time To Stand Up For Journalists, For The Pursuit Of Truth.

“… at least 52 journalists have been murdered this year for simply doing their jobs. Hundreds more are imprisoned and threatened. The Committee to Protect Journalists notes 262 are now being held and 60 are “missing.”,” said Policinski.

I’m dumbfounded, to say the least, when I shouldn’t be. I knew becoming a journalist could get dangerous because I knew that finding the truth means digging into lives and secrets that others would prefer to stay buried. Perhaps this is why I wanted to be a feature writer, subconsciously I knew it could be my life on the line.

“Call for better reporting, but also be willing to support better journalism. Continue to call for investigations and prosecutions whenever a journalist is attacked or killed; don’t settle for a politically expedient decision to excuse or ignore such criminal conduct. Defend journalism and commit to the pursuit of truth, even when it means extra effort to separate it out from misleading and false information.” said Policinski.

These words bring the encouragement I think every journalist needs. In the face of evil, we cannot cower or the truth will remain unseen. I may quiver and I may hesitate, but I refuse to let my fear stop the truth.

These three articles threw me for a loop. While each had a completely different approach each author present fact and truth.

Nott uses “I” multiple times which I’ve been taught is a journalistic ‘no-no’ unless it’s an opinion piece. Policinski’s piece is motivational with the message of moving forward and searching for truth despite what others, including our president, say. Funke gave the most informational article with tons of quotes and statistics.

Policinski pulls on the heart string the most which is something I strive to accomplish as a journalist. I’d like to have the same emotional effect of Policinski while maintaining the informational aspect presented by Funke. Nott’s article is also incredibly sound and I’d like to achieve her tone in my writing as well.

 

 

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