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The Art of the Fake News Reel

The Art of the Fake News Reel

By    |   Wednesday, 19 July 2017 02:13 PM

Recently, major news outlets from CNN to BuzzFeed reported on Russian hackers suspected of using fake news on Qatar's state news to create tension between the U.S. and its allies.

This is not the only time the public has been duped by fake news reports, nor is it the only way we our attention is diverted from the real issues at home and abroad. A far bigger issue with the news currently is the caliber of stories being produced.

Sensationalism Pays Big

The news media has become something more closely resembling an artful illusion than an honest reporting venue. Like a magician distracting us with his left hand while the right is busy working, major issues are regularly being disguised by the sleight of airing overly-sensationalized stories chosen for their entertainment value rather than their relevance to current issues. Why? Because sensationalism gets views, and views get ad dollars.

At its heart, the media is just another business. Newscasters are looking to make money and turn a profit. Driven by fierce competition to claim more eyeballs and more clicks so as to garner a greater percentage of the available ad revenue, media outlets grapple for stories that will attract viewers. They are more interested in news that sells than news that actually makes a difference. When faced with a choice between publishing the latest Trump tweet and publishing an expose on soaring incarceration rates in the Midwest or the ongoing Syrian Civil War, Trump's 140 characters will always win.

Hyped-up Hypocrisy

Trump's approval rating is nearly the same as Bill Clinton's was at this point in his first term, but the media never went after Clinton with the same determination and salivation with which they spill words on the topic of Trump. It could be that Trump has a way of saying things which provokes a visceral reaction, but it could also be that the media knows that any Trump story will get them more views.

The Comey testimony is good example of this. The entire event was filled to the brim with overblown coverage, simply due to the potential for news about Trump. Some media stations went so far as to include a countdown to the testimony in the corner of their screens. The media made it seem as if Comey's testimony was the can't-miss event of the year, but very little happened during the actual testimony.

The media has become such a circus act that some reporters are reporting on the media itself instead of on real news. Instead of learning about real issues, we are watching the news report on the news. All the media wants is stories it can hype up. If they can label it a "crisis," as with the Russian hackers story, even better.

Stop Validating Fake News

If you are wondering how this can be possible, you need look no further than your own viewing habits. We are the ones empowering the media. Audiences have been glued to these shows. The more we watch, the more money the media outlets make. By tuning into overly sensationalized fake news stories and overblown coverage such as the Comey testimony, we are telling the media to give us more stories in the same vein. We validate producers' ideas that they should "give people a good show they want to watch" rather than report on real news, because real news simply does not get as many viewers what Barron Trump was wearing when he moved into the White House.

It is up to us to put a stop to fake news. We have to fight it by not supporting the media in its broadcasting of sensationalized fake news. The best way to do this is to simply stop watching and listening. Stop tuning in, and the media will quickly realize the public does not want a "good show" - we want the truth. We want real news that matters.

Chris Markowski has carried the titles of author, investment banker, equity analyst, and consumer advocate. He is the personality behind Watchdog on Wall Street and founder of Markowski Investments.  Markowski’s latest white paper Emergency: Prepare Now for the Retirement Crisis is now available! Download your free copy now.

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It is up to us to put a stop to fake news. We have to fight it by not supporting the media in its broadcasting of sensationalized fake news. The best way to do this is to simply stop watching and listening.
fake, news, reel, art, invest
Wednesday, 19 July 2017 02:13 PM
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