Now more than ever, the American people are in dire need of clear, accurate, and strong reporting from the news industry. While social media sites like Twitter and Facebook have the potential to be useful for news organizations to promote their articles, the sites have also been used to spread fake news. This was most prevalent during the 2016 presidential election campaign, where several fake news stories started popping up, usually about a “scandal” involving Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
I feel that the best way for actual news organizations to prove their credibility is to remind the public of how long they have been around and provide examples of some big stories they have reported on over the years. While this may sound simple, it is anything but that. With our current president referring to some of the most credible news organizations in the country as “fake news,” some people may be willing to trust him over the media. The New York Times, one of the biggest victims of president Trump’s “fake news” claims, should be reminding the American public that they have been reporting the news since 1851, and has won more Pulitzer Prizes than any other news organization with 117 of them. CNN revolutionized televised news when it became the first 24-hour news channel. It has been one of the first to report on several big news stories since its inception in 1980. It is now the home station to the reporter considered by many to be the best journalist today, Anderson Cooper. The Washington Post has been reporting the news since 1877, and is considered to be one of the most reliable news sources.
News organizations like these need to own up to the mistakes they have made over the years, but also must point out the flaws in unreliable news organizations and fake news. The news industry must educate the public in how to differentiate real news from fake news. The public should be looking at the news source. If the source isn’t well known or the headlines and articles are over the top, they may be fake news. The public must be able to differentiate news from The New York Times and news from Breitbart. The public shouldn’t be believing one person with political power over the news organizations that are responsible for making sure he is using his power to help the people, and not himself. If someone like president Trump is referring to every news organization that has criticized him as “fake news,” the news industry should be pointing it out to the people. At this point, the different news organizations may want to start working with each other in order to better inform the public rather than to compete with each other. It’s dangerous when people start believing President Trump over every credible news outlet.