Our problem isn’t ‘fake news.’ Our problems are trust and manipulation.
Jeff Jarvis

What a self-indulgent screed this was. The premise is intriguing. Why is it that we currently lack trust in the news media?

And the answer is pretty simple. The media used to be a public service that broadcasters owed to the people for the free use of the people’s airwaves and their FCC licenses, which gave them a cash cow for the other 22 hours out of every day. But the news division wasn’t intended nor designed to make money. It was the news, and the way is was measured was in how accurate, informative and quick to market it was. In that order. Being first wasn’t a boon unless it was also correct. Being correct doesn’t matter if it isn’t informative.

All of this went away with the advent of 24 hour news channels that have no choice but to turn a profit. And when profit is required, the metric by which we judge news is skewed. Being accurate or informative is now less important than being popular. Butts in the chairs in front of the boob tube or online is the goal, and the quality or content of the news that was broadcast necessarily suffered as a result.

News has become what the people want to hear, rather than what they need to know. And invariably, that led to self-segregation of people into political camps, and those news channels they subscribed to curated the news to suit that particular mindset.

Which is why Fox News viewers are routinely more misinformed on the issues of the day than if they consumed no news at all, and why MSNBC viewers could be forgiven for believing that Boris and Natasha are hiding under every bed at night, and why CNN viewers don’t know what the hell is going on.

You want to restore integrity to the news industry? I think that’s a terrific goal. You have to do it by removing the profit motive. The news is a public service. Treat it like one.

People turn to dubious internet outlets, Facebook and Twitter because they don’t have a competent, authoritative voice telling them what’s actually going on. Go back to the model of news for it’s own sake, without a profit motive, measured by reason, quality, accuracy and depth, and much of the noise will subside, because those bots and trolls online will no longer have an audience.

The fact that you didn’t even address that core issue tells me you’re shilling for some group. So, who’s your sugar daddy? Is it Brock? Murdoch? Moonves? Bloomberg? They all have an agenda now, and you’re the toady serving them.

You’re part of the problem, Jarvis.

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