Ring, Ring, Fake News Calling

Tuesday, October 5, 2021 by Diamond Henry

Untrue or an exaggeration of events have always been a part of our history since humans learned to communicate. Like the game of telephone, sometimes what was actually said, in this case, happened, gets misconstrued, and sometimes people get the wrong information.

According to Brittanica and History Hit, former U.S. President Donald Trump is believed to have invented the term “fake news”. However it was long in session before he was even born. Fake or misleading information has been prevalent since the beginning of human communication. However, some of the first known instances of fake news were in the 19th century, when mass production began.

This leads us to the main three points in journalism: real/true events, fake news, and just plain exaggeration. As stated in the name, real journalism is an accurate retelling of an event. Fake news is when someone gives out the wrong information. Lastly, just plain exaggerated news is the simple way of saying yellow journalism.

According to Brittanica, if we rewind to the year 1895, we’ll find William Randolph Hearst and John Pulitizer fighting. And no, I don’t mean with fists, I mean with political cartoons and, you guessed it, exaggerated events. With both men running the top journalism newspapers in New York at the time, Hearst’s New York Journal and Pulitzer’s New York World, there was bound to be competition.

Why is this relevant? Well, if we refer back to the game of telephone, you always want to get the phrase right. If you get the wrong retelling of an event, your thoughts, ideas, and feelings about a certain issue may be persuaded.

For example, you might read something about a political issue from a secondary source, but because this isn’t a first-hand account of what happened, the information may be wrong. Before believing everything you might hear, see, or read, you should do your own research to make sure the facts are right.

It’s important to know the difference between these types of news because you never know when you may pick up the phone and have someone tell you something that isn’t necessarily the truth.

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