Fake News has Jumped the Shark

Here at Media Bias Fact Check we try to stay away from opinion pieces, unless said piece is extremely evidence based. I want to give my opinion about the state of “Fake News.” Yes, fake news is alive and well and both sides are producing it for political and financial gain. I want to talk about the term itself. I have never claimed to be a scholarly journalism expert, but after reviewing over 1000 sources I have gained a lot of perspective in the last year and a half.

Quite simply, the term “fake news” has jumped the shark. If you don’t know what that means, it means this:  “Jumping the shark is an idiom used to describe the moment a television show begins a decline in quality, signaled by a particular scene, or episode, in which the writers use some type of gimmick in an attempt to keep viewers’ interest.” In this case, the media and our President have used this term so much that it is essentially meaningless now. Today, the term fake news applies to anything that goes against one’s confirmation bias. Most people with a shred of sense understand that this is not fake news. It is propaganda.

Now that the term fake news has become a normal part of our daily media consumption it has lost value. It means nothing really. It has simply become a term to describe what one does not agree with. This is obviously dangerous and there are precedents in history that this form of propaganda works effectively. See history for how doubt in the free press leads to negative consequences.

Several months ago we made the decision to stop using the term “fake news” as a category. Looking back, I feel we made the right decision and saw where this was going. It is better to question sources rather than label them and hence why we created the “Questionable Source” group. It factors in extreme bias, poor sourcing, hate groups, propaganda and of course good old fashioned fake news. It means beware, not reject. The term fake news is a blanket term of rejection. We should not reject CNN, Brietbart, Fox or even the Palmer Report (and you know how I feel about that). These are not fake news. Biased perhaps, and misleading sometimes, but fake…No!

The main point here is that when you see the word fake news, no matter what side you stand on, take it with a grain of salt and investigate for yourself. Fake news is a blanket term that is no longer worthy of trust. The term is dead now. Question.

by Dave Van Zandt


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4 Comments on "Fake News has Jumped the Shark"

  1. It’s like how so many people now are calling anyone they disagree with “Nazis” (although Donald Trump and the alt-right’s actions are not really helping de-escalate that situation).

  2. Definitely the overplaying of ‘Fake News’ has caused it to lose meaning. In a similar way much of the news media uses terms like ‘credible’, ‘trusted’ or ‘balanced’ news has also lost its meaning when audiences knows they are not. It’s a strange world we live in.

  3. I’m pretty certain that in this sentence, “In this case, the media and our President has used this term so much that it is essentially meaningless now,” should be the plural “have.” Wouldn’t it be nice if this site and others hired some of the now out-of-work editors from defunct newspapers? I stop reading when the error is that glaring so I can’t say whether the piece makes a good point. I feel confident it does, but . . .

  4. Thank you. Corrected it.


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