A recent article posted in The Irish Times by DCU’s Dr. Jane Suiter highlighted the growing mistrust shown by Irish people for its journalists and politicians alike, despite the lack of political or journalistic scandal. Read on to find out three of the best ways to verify the news you take in.
1. Go to reputable sites:
The best way to remain in the eye of the news storm is to stick to national news outlets. In other words, stick to what you know. It is very unlikely that verified, reputable news brands will publish misleading, unverifiable journalism. We here at Mediacontact.ie would advise you to keep on your toes as regards the content you consume. However reliable a source is, take nothing for granted as humans are liable to make mistakes. Perhaps Irish people being mistrustful of journalists and politicians is in fact a good thing. If doing little else it will keep the content we consume to a very high standard.
P.s. Whatever you do, do not mistake satire news sites for respected news institutions. This is one of the few irredeemable blunders…especially if you are one of those institutions.
2. Production processes:
News content is much like the food industry nowadays, in respect as to how much processing it receives. Thankfully these processes have been refined, with the colour taken out of the food and put back in to our stories. Multi-national corporation Google has recently revealed its detailed ‘News Lab’ which aids journalists in story production. Comprehensive tools like Fusion Tables are available, along with detailed tutorials, outlets to access user-generated content and Google Trends for more insightful storytelling. Journalists nowadays are working with better quantifiable and qualitative data than ever before.
Facebook are also cleaning up content streaming, and are in the process of developing algorithms to prevent ‘click farms’ on their website. Facebook are one of the leading innovators as regards this method of stopping and providing content appearing; EdgeRank being one of the most recognised. However, in regards to Facebook, ‘newsfeed’ content is generated on its popularity, not on its importance, so be vigilant!
3. Check Your Sources:
It may seem counter-intuitive and pointless when someone has already spent so much time and effort on a news piece to not accept a stories thesis statement. However, the world has become increasingly globalised and everything is now marketable. Cynicism is however necessary when consuming news today because of that salient fact. We would advise you not to be wary of journalists, but to become a journalist yourself, and verify your sources of news content. Go out and investigate!
Robert Flynn – @PureFlynn