BCM110

The Great Fake News Dilemma

“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.

Stephen Colbert, the Late Show

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.

7 comments on “The Great Fake News Dilemma

  1. Good topic fake news, everyone needs to find out where they get their news from today, you gave excellent descriptions of where you were taking us with the article piece, especially the way how you talk about the ABC and trusting it as a news source. Explaining it works apart of a government a gender to make sure things are in line is essential. Reminds me of mine on the BBC being apart of a royal charter Excellent piece of work at the end of the article. Love the imaging you obviously spent some time on it, but with the referencing make sure it is down the bottom to. Good job 🙂

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    • Eliza Lourenço

      Thanks for the comment, Jeremy! Fake news is definitely something to be mindful of when looking at news and media. I don’t think we actually need to do Harvard referencing with our blogs, Dion said simply putting links to the information is fine.

      Like

  2. Really great read, your article is well presented with plenty of images and the video was a nice touch. Your style of writing is also super engaging and well thought out, it is precise and to the point. I liked the use of rhetorical questions and quotes to further support your argument. The post was also extensive and it is easy to see you put a lot of time and effort into it as you used a more than one broadcasting company, ABC and Fox which looks at media in both Australia and America Again, Really good article.

    Like

  3. This was a really great post! it was super engaging and your use of links and images were key to that swell as your style of writing. I love you style of writing, its super sophisticated and therefore easy to read and digest. Personally I like to know what the authors opinions and thoughts are on the topic they are discussing… I think adding in a few of your opinions would strengthen your post and would make it even more engaging as it is a highly factual post with a lot of information to digest.
    great post!
    Keep it up 🙂

    Like

  4. Alice Buckley

    As you mentioned through the Fox News example, some media companies have economic incentives, which is highly important to recognise, as it may decipher whether or not you can trust the information provided on the source. Media outlets are focused on heightening their income, which proves a major factor influencing the rise of ‘fake news’. I believe fake news is used as a bait to reel in audiences, in order to make money! Resultantly, I think your statements regarding this issue are accurate, as the future is in our hands to limit our trust on everything we see. We must dig deeper into the background of the owners intentions!

    Like

  5. Hello! I enjoyed reading your post and the questions that you ask when deciphering these ‘fake news’ stories. It was quite an interesting read when you did the comparison between Australian Broadcasting Company to Fox News Group. For the sentence, ‘It is a pay television channel’, I would have expanded on that a bit more as I found the sentence was not as smooth to read with just those words. The advice of ‘don’t read it if you don’t have time to check it’ is an effective way to end your post.

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  6. melanienickl

    I found this topic really interesting and completely agree! The post was engaging and also simplified which I find works in your favour with engagement and interaction in social media. I found your comparison between broadcasting channels and paid tv channels extensive yet concise. It’s extremely beneficial to point out motives for certain news and I’m glad you pointed this out in your blog. The last sentence of advice was a really good line to end your post with, allowing your audience to think about where they source their information from.

    Like

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