We’ve entered a brave, new world in the information age. Where it can be tough to know what’s real. Now there are movements to help us sort through it all— to teach our kids media literacy, to “curate” our information and cull out “fake news.” Sounds like a good idea. After all, who doesn’t want their news straight up? But what if some of those efforts are actually attempts to control the narrative?
Sharyl Attkisson: In January, the website BuzzFeed had a bombshell: anonymous sources claimed President Trump instructed his attorney to lie to Congress. And that Special Counsel Robert Mueller had the goods. It wasn’t long before Mueller took an unusual step— publicly denying it.
President Trump: I think that the BuzzFeed piece was a disgrace to our country.
Jeffrey Toobin: The press screwed up and they should apologize and you know the media isn’t as great as it thinks it is. This is a bad day for the news media. I mean, let’s not kid ourselves.
Sharyl: BuzzFeed stands by its report. Whatever the case, it underscores how it’s getting harder to separate fact from fiction in the news. Now, there are unprecedented efforts by third parties— to curate information for you.Some even want to give lessons to first graders on how to sort through fake news— between math and reading.
Person on street: I think children or young adults need to be informed about how to decipher what is real news and not.
Person on street: I think everyone, not just high school students, everyone should get educated about what to believe and not believe with the media.
Person on street: We really have to understand who you’re hearing it from, why they may be telling you what they’re telling you and generate your own viewpoints from there.
Sharyl: Do you think there is a way for the government or third parties to get involved in curating our information for us so that we can really read factual information? Or is that just a no win proposition?
Katy Grimes: I think the answer is absolutely no. It’s a no win proposition.
Sharyl: Katy Grimes is an investigative journalist in California — one of the states where lawmakers have been pushing for new laws to root out “fake news” and teach media literacy in public schools. The question is — who decides what’s real when it’s a matter in dispute.
Grimes: I think we, we’ve seen a lot of history in the past when you’ve got governments that try to control media. We’ve got governments around the world still trying to control media and it’s limiting what the populations who live there get. (Continued…)
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