Donald Trump has recently converted the term “fake news” into something worthy of a laugh. Many memes stem from this overused political dig he instigates. While this new funny saying is often used as a joke in American culture, it has some truth and weight behind it. The news is typically infused with hidden agendas, bias, and presents information through a filtered lens. They report on whatever will sell, not necessarily important and relevant events we should be aware of.
This concept of fake news is most prominently seen in the refugee crisis. I was struck with the reality of the effect the news can have on enacted policy for refugees and immigrants. Oftentimes, those in charge of media take advantage of uncertainty and make refugees seem dangerous. Uncertainty is dangerous because it leaves us vulnerable and looking for an explanation. When people are uncertain they search for something sure and solid, not questioning anything once they are given an explanation. Uncertainty can leave people desperate, confused, and looking for a scape goat. I think that the news takes advantage of this lack of certainty pertaining to refugees and turns relatively mundane happenings into newsworthy events. They make mountains out of molehills, because “that’s what sells.” Why can’t we just get the actual news for once – not colored or marked with biases or hidden agendas? Why can’t I turn on the news and just get an accurate report of what is going on in the world?
Did older sources of media deal with this too or is the bias infused reporting a characteristic of this time period?
In order to restore this harmful culture of news, better communication could be initiated. Communication between those who have a deep understanding of the policies concerning refugees and the media would be beneficial in decreasing uncertainty. Real, honest, true communication is valuable and rare. Communicating with honesty promotes a better world for all of us. I don’t turn on the news to listen to stories that are enhanced for public consumption. I turn on the news to get a report of what is happening around the world. In the future I hope that our culture can transform into one that encourages the value of integrity in the news. The well-being of our brothers and sisters on earth is of more weight than a popular trending story.