The 2016 Presidential Election shed light on a concept that has been around for hundreds of years: fake news.
Due to the excessive campaign rumors about the candidates, public opinion became quick to accuse news sources with opposing ideologies of their own of fake journalism. Anything that remotely challenged someone’s political preference was dubbed incorrect and untrustworthy.
For the purpose of this article, I define fake news as the deliberate intent of false journalism. It is important to keep the intent of the article as a central aspect for why it is written. By doing so, it separates scandal circulation from misinformed journalism. It is entirely possible for a journalist to write an article and think they are giving transparent information but come to find out their source was unreliable.
Personally, I find it amusing that people have suddenly taken an interest in calling out media sources for producing fake news because those same people have been purposely buying fake news for years. The tabloids that decorate the shelves of grocery store check out lines are notorious for large and dramatic headlines that draw people in and ultimately end up buying- knowing very well that it is all celebrity gossip.
While journalism is battling the onset accusations and re-evaluating their ethical strategies of content information, it is important for PR practitioners to maintain their level of integrity and remain transparent in their profession. At a significant time of distrust towards the media, PR professionals must remain exemplary figures within the realm of communication distribution.
Do not let the recent accusations of communication specialists stop you from being ethical and transparent.