Fake news has become a contentious point of conversation and concern for the media and the public. Typing “fake news” into WBUR’s online search brought up a Here & Now segment called “Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg Writes Manifesto About The Future Of The World.”
The piece was a 5:50 minute-long radio interview with Kara Swisher, editor of Recode, who interviewed Mark Zuckerburg about his manifesto. Swisher described Zuckerburg as “probably the most earnest CEO in Silicon Valley… he was really quite genuine in doing this”
Zuckerburg’s action is in response to people’s accusation that FB has been proliferating fake news. He spoke about people who share headlines of articles that don’t read that are false.
“Sharing globally didn’t used to be controversial,” Zuckerburg said in the manifesto. “Globalization did not used to be controversial.” He proposed using Facebook as a tool to prevent suicides and even catch terrorists.
“Should you use Facebook as a government agency?” Swisher questioned in her interview with Here and Now.
Using the search bar again, there were more results for “alternative facts.” An article by WBUR News titled “With ‘Fake News,’ Trump Moves From Alternative Facts To Alternative Language” provides a thought-provoking analysis of what is fake news and why it has become relevant.
This piece by Danielle Kurtzleben does a great in-depth analysis of fake news. It recognizes Trump’s criticism of the press as a recent cause of news organizations struggling to maintain their credibility. Furthermore, the public finds it more difficult to distinguish what is fact and what is biased opinion.
“Now, Trump casts all unfavorable news coverage as fake news,” Kurtzleben writes. “In one tweet, he even went so far as to say that “any negative polls are fake news.” And many of his supporters have picked up and run with his new definition.”
WBUR News does a good job of covering the conversation of fake news. As an organization as a whole, WBUR’s limited segments on the topic is not out of neglect. They provide coverage on a broad range of pressing topics such as Boston traffic, proposed reform to Massachusetts’ Criminal Justice System, and the possibility of Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Tanglewood expansion.