WASHINGTON, May 27, 2014 – On this Memorial Day Weekend 2016, it’s almost hard to remember that since this country’s founding, one of America’s most cherished traditions has been its free press: one key element in preventing wealthy elites from turning our representative democracy into a dictatorship of, by and for the well-connected. It’s one of the freedoms our brave military women have fought and died for to protect for over two centuries.
These days, though, one can wonder about where the freedom of the press currently stands. Here’s one point of view from the Colombia Journalism Review:
“In striving for traffic, prolific output, and social media hype, some newsrooms have prioritized the quick and provocative, while undervaluing reporting. This system has allowed fake news sites to essentially develop best practices to fool journalists. Facebook now lets users flag fake news stories, which then appear less frequently, or with an attached warning, in newsfeeds. But without a top-down cultural shift in journalism, garbage stories will continue to enter the mainstream.”
Comments like these immediately inspire the Muse of Limerick Junction:
Fooling reporters is easy.
Their checking of facts is so breezy,
that they will endorse
nearly any old source,
as long as it’s trending and sleazy.