Journalism/social media: ‘No One Believes Anything’

Journalism/social media: ‘No One Believes Anything’

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The media discovers most people do not care about the news, especially political news. A combination of frequent lies by all politicians and

The rise of social media; the proliferation of information online, including news designed to deceive; and a flood of partisan news are leading to a general exhaustion with news itself.

There is little that anyone can do to discern truth from fiction except to ignore it because who knows what is true?

“Less than half of Americans have confidence in the media”.

and

Fake information is only part of the problem. Another is the sheer volume of news and the growing proportion of it that is opinion. Fatigue with it cuts across partisan lines.

Source: ‘No One Believes Anything’: Voters Worn Out by a Fog of Political News – The New York Times

The sheer volume of “news” leaves us unable to verify anything. For example, reviewing and finding numerous errors of fact and logic in Time Magazine’s fake news story about “Asthma inhalers are choking the planet” used up hours of my time. For every item we check, hundreds if not thousands more go unverified. After awhile we have to assume that most everything we see is a lie.

This is the path that most people are now taking:

New academic work is emerging that supports the view that news avoidance is not about left or right. …. “They had this sense that they had to be skeptical of everything out there but they didn’t have the time to spend hours to make sense of it,” he said.

This issue of lies, fake information, the volume of material,  exaggeration and hype (click bait) leads to everyone tuning out most news topics.

One solution would be for the news media to double down on objective and accurate reporting. However, as shown on this blog, that is not happening. Yellow journalism feeds click bait and no one wants to turn off the spigot of driving clicks to advertisers.

When no one believes anything – or what they believe is erroneous and based on widespread misinformation – then developing effective and efficient public policies is impossible.

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