Engagement

Fake news, do they have a place in the media landscape? Why are we so appalled that it even exists? 

Even people who work in academia, in public policy, people who are part of the media industry love fake news. And I don’t mean obvious fakes and satire like on The Onion. I mean fake news that’s masquerading as journalism.

Some people don’t know if it’s fake. Many don’t even care. It’s entertaining. It’s mind-blowing. It’s so sensational! And so these pieces are shared, and reshared.

Does it really matter that it’s fake? 

When I think about the state of journalism, I think a lot about the movie Anchorman 2. 

“Why do we have to tell the people what they need to hear?” Ron Burgundy says, as he’s thinking of a way to increase viewership on his segment. 

“Why can’t we just tell them what they want to hear?” And that’s exactly what he starts doing. 

It’s so mind-boggling to me that the same people who complain about “bad journalism” when it doesn’t suit them also use “news articles” to prove their point about something. 

How journalists afraid of not being able to find work comment positively on news pieces that are so glaringly fake. 

I think it’s hilarious when people complaining about a certain article, share the link to that piece on social media. And then have a whole conversation with multiple people in the comment section of the post. 

Engagement, is engagement.