Part of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign was debunking the supposed “fake news” or liberal media outlets misconstruing information about him and his campaign. Ever since then, the fake news conspiracy has exploded, pinning opposite ends of the political spectrum against each other in, yet again, another way.
As someone who politically identifies as a centrist, or someone who finds truth in both sides of the political spectrum, I find this whole fake news phenomenon to be incredibly annoying. The journalist part of me craves actual, legitimate factual news. News sources that intentionally write biased information in an attempt to sway readers/viewers goes against the purpose of a news source.
News is meant to simply relay factual information to its reader, that is, information without bias. If you want to read a biased article, you’re doing so right now. Opinion pieces or columns such as mine are both sources of biased, opinionated information, not a news article.
My interest in this topic was recently resurfaced when a movie trailer for a movie called “Unplanned” went viral on Twitter. According to the trailer, the movie revolves around a true story of a Planned Parenthood employee, Abby Johnson, whose views on abortion were changed after she witnessed a life-changing surgery. My feed immediately blew up with accusations that Johnson’s story was proved to be false years ago.
Of course I don’t know whether these accusations are true or not. I don’t feel it’s even necessary to do my own research because the news articles and reviews about the movie are, you guessed it, all biased. It’s frustrating to me to not be able to go to any popular news outlet and get real factual information. CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, you name it, they all lean politically one way or the other.
While Trump will claim that liberal media is the sole perpetrator, conservative media has also contributed to the narrative. For example, if you look at an article about the same subject matter on CNN and Fox News, you’ll get two totally different stories. If you search “Trump Border Wall” on both of these sites, you can see what I mean. CNN has headlines including, “If Trump closes border, ‘we could be in a world of hurt’ White House official says”and “Pope Francis: ‘Those who build walls will become prisoners of the walls they put up.’” Fox News articles under the same search read, “Trump unveils new slogan for border wall” and “Trump holds rally in Texas amid border wall debate.”
As you can see, you get totally different stories. I don’t even understand the point of writing news if it’s going to be so biased. Of course, I know writing unbiased articles is certainly easier said than done, but these are trained professionals here. I would love to find a news outlet that doesn’t affiliate with either end of the political spectrum, which, again, is easier said than done nowadays.