The latest buzz phrase emanating from Yankee press is “fake news”. Have you ever wondered when you first heard of “fake news”. Indeed, not until recently did this “fake ” craze came into our daily vernacular. So what is so special about fake news? When did news become real or fake? Have you ever wondered?
Once upon a time when journalism is deemed a respectable and professional job, news as reported by “reputable” media are rarely questioned. Journalists are held responsible for what they write or report. The masses take in such news via newspapers, television and other mass communications as gospel truth. Occasionally there are errors in reports. Usually, these are corrected as and when they are found. Then there are of course some errant reporters. By and large these are rare and such reporters will not survive long in the highly competitive world of journalism.
Why and when did news suddenly become “fake”? The only plausible answer is that journalism is now dead. Journalists are no longer being trusted as reliable sources of news. Long before the onslaught and proliferation of mass social media, journalism belongs to a elite group of journalists anointed by their press masters. Journalists are obligated to their pay masters. And since prior to mass social media, mass communication is under the control of a select few of media moguls, news were never “democratic”. News belongs to these oligarchs. What we hear is what they want us to heat.But social media is challenging the grip of these oligarchs.
Then something went very wrong in late 2106. The US Presidential election invoked the clashes of the titans. Each opposing camp, in this case the media vs Trump, put off all stops in reporting what each wants to promulgate. Trump took on the incumbent with social media dexterity. For months, it was a total news mayhem. News was mere theatre. With so much convoluted news, who do we now believe?
As it turned out, Trump won. “Official” journalism went off the cliff and resorted to biased reporting, so it seems. The media oligarchs went into frantic offensive campaigns. “Fake news” was born. The premise is that social media does not carry news that are true and authenticated. Yet they moved people who are “gullible” to believe in whatever is thrown at them. Hence such news from non sanctioned sources must be annihilated. They have no basis to be allowed to be shared to the masses. But there is little control over the viral spread of social media. Short of shutting down social media, the next best recourse is psychological warfare. News not sanctioned by the media moguls must be branded “fake”.
Who is now qualified to categorise news as “fake’ or “real”? No one! You are the only judge. No one else can be your arbiter of truth. The quest for deceit is not new. Be wary, very wary of what is being told to you.
3 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”