Media, is a mirror of the society by reporting and conveying the information to all and sundry that’s at least according to literature. Media is supposed 4th arm of the government as it plays crucial role in check and balances as well as its ability of framing the political affairs and informing the opinion and therefore wields influence and trust from the general public.
However, there is dark side of media that is definitely undermining its power and that is the Fake News. Just to be fair to media in print, broadcast or in whatever form, there have been misreporting even in 20th century but that was rare and genuinely mistake on the part of the journalist but Fake News has escalated in this decade especially in the wake of social media influence. Fake News are now rampant and print media constantly retract the reports and issuing the apologies due to misreporting and misrepresentation of facts.
Some argue that media has been weaponized to publish and broadcast certain favorable news towards certain factions be it in business, technology or politics and target certain faction with negative news. Media as well has been accused of knowingly spreading disinformation in order to mislead and misinform the public. The journalists have also been on the receiving end of being lazy and not getting to the bottom of matters before reporting them hence contributing largely on spread of unverified information.
The thirst of spreading the news faster than your competitors also contribute to fake news as the quality of the news will be compromised in bid to be the first to ‘break news’. Therefore lack of proper research in news and various reports have consumed journalism and now exposing the media as losing its power drastically.
How will the media wield influence when the public lose trust in them? When their credibility is put in question each minute they do a report, when social media like Twitter or Facebook has factual reports and information than them. Fake News without will be ultimate test on the media and journalism in this century and failure to tame it early by the media owners may lead to its irreparable damage.
The media is doing a disservice to themselves by accepting to be used in fighting the proxy wars and target groups with unfavorable reports. Media should be neutral arbiter of the truth and must remain apolitical in all of its operations without showing alignment to certain quarters. Falling to the Fake News ditch will be their own making but saving their face and repairing its credibility should be a priority.