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Editorial: Journalism can combat fake news

Story by The Baker Orange Editorial Board

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Alternative facts. Fake news. This is the world we live in today. Does it have to be that way? Both Trump and his supporters view the media as “the enemy,” and this idea is starting to transfer to the rest of the U.S. population.

The media are portrayed as sleazy and tricksters, but that simply isn’t true. Sure, some journalists are sleaze-balls, just like some bankers or businesspeople are, but not everyone is. There are conscientious journalists who just want to report what’s happening in our world so that people can be informed.

If you think the media are biased, think again. Even if they report just the facts, people will read the information differently and project their own opinions onto it, thus making it seem biased. The solution? Get your news from multiple sources. Only then can you truly have an understanding of what’s actually going on and who is reporting the truth.

If you think the media are lying to you, look into the issue yourself. Investigate to make sure you’re getting the right information. Someone, somewhere, has told the truth about an issue, and if you look you will find the answer.

If we view the media as evil and the enemy, like chief White House Strategist Steve Bannon, we are at risk for knowing literally nothing. Worse yet, we could rely solely on social media for all of our news. Reporting by the masses via social media, like Twitter, would involve only opinion and not provide the whole truth because no one would put in the effort of investigating and reporting.

News media outlets serve as our watchdogs. They alert us to what is happening in our world, but we seem to have forgotten that. We need to embrace media sources and help them. If you notice something that seems untrue, question it and try to help find the real answer instead of just automatically saying “it’s fake news.”

The future of journalism rests in our hands. We don’t have to tolerate alternative facts and fake news. Dispute these things and find out the real answer so we can share the truth instead of complaining that it’s all lies. Journalism has the potential to educate people and help them make informed decisions in their everyday lives.

We are the most connected generation because of social media, so let’s use it to our advantage. We need to band together. Even if you’re not involved in a journalism career, it still directly affects you. A new golden age of journalism is just around the corner, and it’s millennials like us who will help get us there.

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