Agence France-Presse has been busy will spewing out a series of silly articles all about the Big Bad known as Fake News. These have been told in the old fashion ABC After School Special-style that is supposed to sound patriarchal and authoritative, but like the uncle who has easy and fast advice that has no real world application, these articles come off as childish.
I have mentioned one of the previous articles, but there are more, such as this one, looking at how various regimes are trying to combat fake news, without ever mentioning how these governments came up with the solutions -- was it through empirical methods, or just by pandering or targeting their enemies and then using the noble cause of "fighting fake news" to do it.
It doesn't, of course, nor does it factor in whether media outlets who report propaganda would be subject to those laws as well.
The more comical is this one with the very PSA-sounding headline:
Fake news: the media industry strikes back
I love the propagandistic beginning of the piece:
The viral spread of hoaxes and misinformation ahead of the US election and Brexit referendum two years ago was a wake-up call for many established news media, who have gone on the offensive to shore up their credibility and help filter out fake news.
"Wake-up call"? To a profession that keeps reporting lies as news? To the point of destroying itself? Nice try.
Then there is this little throwaway bit worth noting:
Major media organizations, often in partnership with big technology and social media firms, have stepped up fact-checking and other steps to support fact-based journalism.
By doing the same things that made them lose their credibility? And teaming up with those same news-clueless "social media firms" that spread misinformation, invades privacy, and sells big data to the highest bidder? Those groups?
Yes, that instills confidence to the gullible. Then the usual sad attempt at deflection:
But these efforts have been complicated by unrelenting attacks on the media by US President Donald Trump and others who tend to label any unfavorable coverage "fake news."
And we go right back to Donald Trump. The news media got emasculated by him in public, and this article is just another hit piece on the man who bested them.
The propaganda and the Journalism Is Perfect delusion comes shortly after:
Social media "has made things much worse," because it "offers an easy route for non-journalists to bypass journalism's gatekeepers, so that anyone can 'publish' anything, however biased, inaccurate or fabricated," says John Huxford, an Illinois State University journalism professor.
"Journalism's role as the 'gatekeeper' of what is and isn't news has always been controversial, of course. But we're now seeing just how bad things can get when that function breaks down."
See, those social media firms were the saviours, but now the reporter labels them as villains. Make up your brain cell. And the world would have been perfect if journalists had all the controls and were still the gate-keepers cribbing press releases and telling how important it is to follow celebrity gossip.
There is lots of fear-mongering in the story -- how Trump will destroy a press that already destroyed itself, and how all this fake news will Take Over the World:
Journalists may face new dangers in the current environment, in some cases subject to attacks by political leaders even when trying to debunk false information.
And the poor, valiant without flaw journalists are being placed in danger!
You were sloppy. You were lazy. You were arrogant. You were careless. You did not keep up with the times. You weren't disciplined.
You lost your clout because technology made your profession obsolete.
Get over it.