Sunday, February 19, 2017

Who do you trust?

The definition of 'news' has changed.
In the weeks prior to the election, Americans were divided on who they believed.  For those doing their best to understand the issues objectively, there was little solace.

To help us understand it all, in the early 80's there were choices, but not that many: three TV networks that mattered, ABC, CBS, and NBC; two papers for serious journalism, The New York Times and The Washington Post; and two giant-circulation weekly news magazines, Time and Newsweek.  CNN was brand new.

Since then, things have changed and folks find it difficult to trust what's offered.  From a respected journalist and editor, ...

"At least in part, it’s not just because they disagree with the facts as reporters have presented them but because there’s so damn many reporters, and from such a wide array of outlets, that it’s often impossible to evaluate their standards and practices, biases and preconceptions. Even we journalists are increasingly overwhelmed. Can we pluck anything out of the stream for longer than a brief moment? Can our readers?" ~Susan B. Glasser served as editor of Politico throughout the 2016 campaign.

         Fake news is thriving

In the final three months of the presidential campaign,
the 20 top-performing fake election news stories
generated more engagement on Facebook than the top
stories from major news outlets such as The New York Times.
"As this wild presidential campaign progressed, that became my ever-more nagging worry and then our collective nightmare—the fear, clearly realized, that all the flood of news and information we’ve celebrated might somehow be drowning us. So much terrific reporting and writing and digging over the years and … Trump? What happened to consequences? Reporting that matters? Sunlight, they used to tell us, was the best disinfectant for what ails our politics.
But 2016 suggests a different outcome: We’ve achieved a lot more transparency in today’s Washington—without the accountability that was supposed to come with it.
And that for my money is by far the most dispiriting thing about this campaign season: not the mind-numbing endless chatter or the embarrassing bottom-feeding coverage or even the stone-throwing barbarians lying in wait to attack any who dare to enter Twitter or Facebook.
So what’s an editor with a no longer always half-full glass to do?
Four days after the election, I moved to Jerusalem to become a foreign correspondent again for a few years. To a troubled part of the world where the stones thrown are real and not metaphorical. Where an entire region is in the midst of a grand and violent reckoning with the fallout of a failed political order. And where, not coincidentally, the results of the election this year in the world’s remaining superpower will matter almost as much as they will back in Washington.
Facts may be dead, but here’s one I’ll take with me, and it’s a truth as rock-solid as those Facebook feeds are not: elections, in America or elsewhere, still have consequences."
Susan B. Glasser served as editor of Politico throughout the 2016 campaign. The founding editor of Politico Magazine, she has also been editor-in-chief of Foreign Policy magazine; a foreign correspondent, editor, and political reporter for The Washington Post; and co-chief of the Post’s Moscow Bureau with her husband, Peter Baker. Their book, Kremlin Rising: Vladimir Putin’s Russia and the End of Revolution, was published in 2005. Prior to the Post, Glasser worked for eight years at Roll Call, where she rose from an intern to become the paper’s top editor.

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