You are here
Home > Features > Misinformation Age

Misinformation Age

Do you keep up with the news but still feel you’re missing something? Do you ever question things you see or hear in movies, TV and music?

As it turns out, this is a common problem for many Americans, and the effects are showing.

In the modern world, it’s a necessity to stay connected. Between an unfortunate disaster or simply checking the latest celebrity gossip, you consume a lot more media than you might think. Most of the time, you wouldn’t even think twice if inaccurate facts were planted into an article.

To some people, like freshman Jo Wilson, details don’t matter too much.

“I don’t think minor details are that important, but major parts of a story just can’t be left out,” Wilson said.

On the other hand, some people find that news needs to have constant accuracy.

“I feel like news accuracy is at its worst whenever there’s a really new topic, like a law passing or an important government policy. Most of the time, you’ll see rushed work and inaccurate reporting,” said Sammy Cornelius, freshman.

Cornelius says he stays up to date on current events, and he’s noticed plenty of bias and false statements in even small day to day stories. He isn’t the only one who has noticed inaccuracies in the news, though.

“A lot of news has hidden agendas or messages behind it that they try to push. You could call this ‘fake’ news since it’s really biased. CNN and FOX like to do this a lot, mostly for views and higher ratings,” said Carter Shuler, freshman.

Large news stations are often likely to include political stances in reporting, and they can be unreliable when it comes to politics. Most use their large viewer bases to push opinions that they might have, and this creates the biased “mainstream media” effect that many people cite.

To avoid bias and other things detrimental to reporting, find a source that consistently puts out factual information. Another thing that can’t hurt is fact-checking against other articles to see if anything glaringly obvious is missing. These things help stop the spread of misinformation.

Another important thing to do is look for fallacies in interviews, like loaded questions. Loaded questions exist solely for ratings, and assume a rumor is true to attack a subject in a way. This makes interviewees uncomfortable and is “fake” journalism because it forces a false response.

Staying informed now is more important than ever, and the information age we’re in can quickly turn into a misinformation age if you’re not careful. Be mindful of the world around you and you might just learn something new.