In their haste to break the story first, news companies often neglect or overlook some of the facts. An interesting concept in Megan Fromm’s News Literacy Power Point is about fact checking in the digital age. I agree that people should always fact check now that news companies are vying to be the first to break the news, but they are not always correct with the information that they give. Since the media has been consolidated to just six different companies they could possibly be giving out the wrong information through the numerous media outlets they control. I find to be very important to fact check news because it can go viral so quickly without the information being given to be a hundred percent accurate. We see this all over social media sites where there is breaking news that is incorrect like a fake Associated Press twitter feed is stating that the White House has exploded and the President has been injured.
Check The Facts
There have been numerous times when I have seen news go viral on social media that was not true. For example, there are reports that a celebrity has died which goes viral on Facebook or Twitter and then a few hours later the celebrity states that they are alive and well. This has happened with celebrities like Bill Murray and Oprah Winfrey. I have also seen people post links to The Onion with headlines such as Report: Female Interns Earn Only Three-Fourths Of College Credit That Male Counterparts Do which they actually believe to be true. At first glance, the headline grabs my attention until I realized that the site is The Onion. Most people that I know do not fact check because, like me, they usually believe what the news states. It’s easy to believe what a media outlet like the New York Times or CNN states because we do not believe that they would be biased
Need for Improvement
When it comes to news literacy I need to improve because I sometimes fall prey to false headlines. I am quick to believe a respectable news source, even if they are wrong. In Fromm’s Power Point CNN tweeted that the Supreme Court ruled against the individual mandate of the health care law, but later they made a correction stating that the Supreme Court did in fact rule for the health care law. Most of the time I do fact check because I believe that reputable news sources would get the story correct the first time. Lately though, I’ve been going to multiple news sources to make sure that the stories are true and whether or not each news story has the same facts. I don’t think that I am news literate because I tend to believe a reputable news source without fact checking. What I have learned is that I need to fact check more often from sites such as Snopes.com or Factcheck.org because that could possibly be the only way to truly know what is correct and incorrect in a story. I also learned that many different media outlets are biased and we should not believe them entirely. I should take more responsibility when it comes to making sure the story is correct.