Reporting, Clickbait, and Fake News: A Guide for the Woefully Uninformed

I am hearing the phrase “Fake News” thrown around a lot by idiots on Twitter. I thought it might be nice to define the following terms so that we can finally have a common lexicon by which we can fully and collaboratively discuss our misery. I will discuss the facts of a story, in the styles of Good Reporting, Bad Reporting, Biased Reporting, Clickbait, and Fake News. Here we go!

Lets see how different styles of news reporting would cover the following facts: John Milberg was hit by a car while crossing Main street. He was taken to St. Mary’s Hospital and is recovering.

Good Reporting: An article attempting to inform the public about the actual events as they actually occurred, sometimes with bits of human interest or analysis. Most people also consider this boring news. 

Headline: Man struck by car while walking home.

Article: John Milberg was hit by a car while crossing Main street. He is in stable condition at St. Mary’s Hospital.

Bad Reporting: An article with only a passing concern with accuracy. All news sources sometimes have this, good news sources print retractions and corrections. Lots of retractions and corrections is often a sign that a news source is actually concerned about getting it right… eventually. 

Headline: Man struck by car while walking home.

Article: John Milberg was hit by a car while crossing county street. He is in critical condition at St. Mary’s Hospital.

Biased Reporting: An attempt to use facts to push an agenda- often to confirm the biases of the publisher’s key demographic. 

Headline: Mayor’s refusal to increase street lamps has dangerous consequences.

Article: In the latest serious blow to her disastrous administration, Mayor Dinglebert is facing serious criticism after a local man was nearly killed on a dimly lit road last night.

Clickbait: It has little or nothing to do with actual events, its designed to suck you down the click hole. It will cover your screen in a minefield of ads and other clickbait. 

Headline:  He said this road was dangerous, you’ll never believe what happened next.

Article: People cross roads all the time. Sometimes they don’t make it across. Click the slideshow to see how many made it.

Fake News: It starts with a blank document and gets less informative from there. Based on lies, designed to catch attention and get shared on social media, funded by ad revenue from stupid people on Facebook.

Headline: Warren Buffet to Pay for Donald Trump’s Wall

Article: In a move that has democrats fuming, Donald Trump has secured funding for his wall from Billionaire Investor Warren Buffet.

There, now I’m sure there will be no need for further clarification- but feel free to comment and tell me I am an idiot, too.

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