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Fake News and the impact on reputation

Posted on Posted in Personal Branding, Career, Business Personal Branding

Before the advent of social media sites and the immediacy of news, we all took how we consumed news at face value. It had to be true as it’s from reputable agencies either it being print or broadcast. Right?

I can recall listening to my father speak to a colleague about politics and the past revelations regarding Charles Haughey and selling of arms. They had commented on various articles published in two national newspapers. What I remember was how each paper was regarded as being either left wing and right wing. I was very young at the time but I remember thinking why can’t newspapers just print the whole truth and not just pieces of the truth? Are they really siding with a particular viewpoint for vested interests? This notion has always stuck with me and I now I like to get a variety of viewpoints to maybe get the whole story. Not the censored version.  Now that we can get our news with such urgency, censoring can tend to be that bit more difficult. Each one of us that owns a social media account is our own news channel. We can post any version of our own news along with snappy images for proof. But here is where censorship can be replaced by the fake.

As much as I try to avoid speaking about Donald Trump, he not only began the whole “fake news” debate but he is a prime example of ways social media is used to promote news without hard proof. Does he really hear things correctly at all or he is just too busy tweeting it before he hears all the facts? Or was he watching the movie Nixon late one night and dreamt that his phone was “wire tapped”? I could go on in a rant but I won’t…….

The idea of fake news is plausible though. People say things about others daily, no matter how old you are or your stature in the world. The problem is the fact that they think it all needs to be shared. The underbelly of our sharing culture. Considering this, the line to differentiate between real and fake becomes thinner and where reputation stood perhaps and hopefully take over. Trump has called out numerous news channels and broadsheets (where any tabloids mentioned btw?) that I would consider as a reputable and newsworthy source of dependable news sharing. But just like the print media tending to lean either left or right, Trump feels they either like him or don’t as if it’s a personality contest. Where is his proof? Just like where is his proof regarding the “wire taps” or British intelligence aiding Obama etc.?

This notion has left us questioning fake news, what is real or what is heavily censored? Before Enda Kenny left for Washington for St Patricks Day celebrations, he was already being critized for chumming up to Trump and how he will exit Government on his return. The reporting was very one sided prior to his speeches or meetings. After his speech regarding Irish immigrants and how we, the Irish along with other immigrants, made America great, the online community of news makers went crazy on how finally a great leader stood up to Trump in front of the world. Social media sites showed the full speech, delivering the full impact. Irish broadcasters censored it on the day. Time constraints I understand for TV and radio, but the viewpoint wasn’t as great as foreign news allowed it to be. I was disappointed in our media outlets but proud of our leader (that’s a first for me).

So, I wonder, what news source can we rely on today? Facebook were called out for allowing such news to be posted by users during the Presidential election and they immediately took steps to rectify their reputation after the claim. It’s time to step up on reputation building for news outlets otherwise the news will be fed from the paddy on the street and trust me we are everywhere…

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