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News in the Modern World: Expectations vs. Reality

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News in the Modern World: Expectations vs. Reality

Have you ever discovered a news report or story you had talked about or shared on social media was “fake news?” What happened?

News and an independent press are a crucial part of a healthy democracy. The electorate needs accurate and complete information to make informed decisions. However, according to Gallup Poll, millions of Americans no longer trust the news media as evenly and uniformly credible. Political partisanship, bias by omission, opinion, social activism, and outright falsehoods are seen as too often replacing fact gathering and news reporting that follow established journalism standards. Although purposefully inaccurate reporting has always been part of our country’s history, the term “fake news” has spiked in recent years. With the rise in use of social media, sound bytes, clickbait, and open source news outlets, the onus is increasingly on citizens to critically assess not only the news, but where they get it. This conversation is designed not to critique specific news sources, but to clarify what we can and should expect from news sources in order to be an informed citizenry.

Background Information:
Political diversity is essential to some conversations. Especially with polarized topics, we encourage you to take extra care to include people who hold different political views. Engaging only with people who hold similar views can lead to further entrenchment of our own beliefs and more polarization. While you don’t need to be an expert on this topic, sometimes people want background information. Our partner, AllSides, has prepared a variety of articles reflecting multiple sides of this topic.

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