“Almost 40 per cent of survey respondents said they use their smartphone for three hours or more each day.” – Kylie Andrew, ABC News
In the internet-age, there is an abundance of fake news flooding social media and we don’t necessarily have the time to wade through it and discern the lies. Mainly, I get my news from the ABC and the Sydney Morning Herald. Of course, I’m also partial to the clickbait my friends share on FaceBook. Here’s a video the ABC made to explain what fake news is if you’re needing a brush-up.
One of the key questions we should ask when trying to figure out if something we’re reading is fake news or not is this: Who is the author and do they have motives?
Let’s zoom in a bit and do a little comparison between the Australian Broadcasting Company versus the Fox News Group. The ABC was founded in 1929 and has proved itself integral to the history of television in Australia as well as journalism. The programs and content of the ABC were originally created by private creators closely watched by the government to make sure the material wasn’t out-of-line with the company’s mission.
Nowadays, the ABC is a fully state-owned corporation that relies on government grants and an extremely select few partnerships with third-parties who have very similar messages. Although the ABC is accused of being too left-leaning, it stands to reason that nothing can ever truly be objective and someone will always find faults. I trust in the ABC to deliver accurate information, precisely because it has very little incentive economically to deliver anything but factual news.
Then there’s Fox News.
It is a pay television channel. Of course it is going to have vested interests in making sponsors happy. In the Top Fox & Friends Advertisers 3Q2018 (Quarterly Summary) you don’t have to go far down the list to find car companies (Suburu, Ford & Lincoln) who benefit from suppressing concerns about fossil fuels or other major media corporations (Walt Disney Company, 20th Century Fox). Needless to say, I don’t watch Fox for these reasons.
It is so important to know who owns major news outlets and to be critical when consuming news from lesser-known and even indie creators. All that remains is this advice I have: don’t read it if you don’t have time to check it.