There are a total of 418 news channels in the world and that is excluding the weather channel, business channel, etc. Every day we turn on our TV, jump to our regular news channel and see what went wrong today. Some of us get tensed, we even tend to start protecting ourselves from something that just “might” happen to us.
Now imagine the accidents that you’ve roped yourself for, didn’t actually happen. Feel angry? That’s how I felt when my research showed that about 65% of the time news channels do not perform proper background checks on their stories and present half a story on our plate. To which we are so quick to react. I also found out, that sometimes they just keep gustling us with the same piece of information in different angles just because they didn’t have anything else to present to us, this same scam is also done to elongate the period of a product being advertised on their channel.
We live in an era where technology has overcome our human brain. Known as "The Millennials" we make our present and the future. Claire Wardle of First Draft, a UK-based non-profit organisation which is now part of the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard, categorised misinformation into seven categories, namely:
Is what we see a complete truth or a half lie?
In recent times, there have been numerous instances of fake news misleading people, spreading false propaganda or maligning people as well as entire communities. Real news and information is increasingly getting buried in an avalanche of false information and hoaxes, which are spreading like wild fire and creating rifts between various communities, castes and religions in India.
Just last month, fake stories were weaved by several TV reporters as the anti-Rohingya rhetoric mounted, with photographs of children being misused in the divisive propaganda. The fresh outbreak of violence in Myanmar's Rakhine province since August has sparked a steady stream of provocative but nonetheless fake images.
A few months back, mainstream TV channels circulated a story saying Arundhati Roy, a renowned Indian novelist, had criticised the Indian army's heavy-handed presence in Kashmir, the disputed territory claimed by both India and Pakistan. The coverage prompted nationalist sections in society to lash out at Roy. But the truth about the statements, as Roy later clarified, was that she did not make those comments about India controlling Kashmir.
So what is the way forward to counter fake news?
Considering the rapid penetration of technology and the rise in use of television, the dissemination of fake news is no longer a problem limited to the online world, especially because it has political, social and economic ramifications on the ground.
Leo Kriti Jogi,
Member at Leo Club of Juhu.
Read more about the program.