How many times has information been passed on to you that has later revealed itself as incorrect? To complicate and confuse things more, a second opinion turns out to be the exact opposite! So where do we find the truth -verifiable facts that accurately portray our reality?
Lately we hear so much about fake news. But is this a new trend? Deliberate misinformation has circulated for centuries, only it was called propaganda- Wikipedia is full of historical examples. The purpose of journalism, according to The American Press Institute , is “to provide citizens with the information they need to make the best possible decisions about their lives, their community, their societies and their governments.” It should be a professional discipline that assembles and verifies facts.
There are several credible sites we can use to recheck news stories, posts on social media and phony reviews for online products or services. Any information that have questionable URLs (.co), use low quality grammar, that get rave ratings or are not transparent about their identity are probably not reliable sources. If the news you are reading makes you really angry or really smug, this too could be a sign that the facts are not legitimate as they rely on extreme reactions to get re-shared or retold.
When we base our perception of truth on what we read or hear, we have to be cognizant and cautious not to accept anything immediately at face value. Check multiple sources when you seek advice and then run it through the filter of your own common sense. To borrow from the popular public service announcement, “the more you know” , the more you are able to discern fact from fiction. Using our basic ability to perceive with practical judgment allows us to know what to question and what to trust. Never stop questioning.
Alfred A. Dolezal
Eagle Crest Resort
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