Beside the Point – Fake news?….it’s still news and away we go

Opinion

Consumption is a choice.

We can choose, as is our American right, to consume what we want, legal or illegal. It’s the consequences that people tend to forget in the passion of the consumption.

Take Jameson for example. It’s one of my more leisurely and casual consumptions. How casual you ask? About a bottle every three months. That’s pretty casual. I’m sure my liver is waggling it’s finger at me, but after three fingers over four ice cubes in a short, heavy glass I’m reminded that being a hard worker and a good father and husband entitles us to simple pleasures.  A simple pleasure my wife tolerates. (She may think it’s handsome but I don’t push that. I’ll take what I can get.)

Again, my choice.

If it’s a steak over a nice piece of fish, or choosing no dessert in favor of picking at my wife’s bacon cheeseburger she never finishes. It’s a consumption I choose…at my pace.

So is what we read.

As I read through Facebook in the morning to catch up what my friends are doing, wish the list of birthdays  “Happy Birthday” and see what is considered news for the day, I pass on the mundane. I consume what I choose, typically MSNBC and the Washington Post.

I also look at the time of the posts. I’ve learned that most things posted between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. are probably best avoided. Entertaining I’m sure, but I would imagine most people posting at that time are either suffering from one too many shots of tequila at the local watering hole, or are suffering from insomnia. Either way… discretion and a good mouth-to-touchpad filter at that point is probably best.

Every time I see a headline that interests me I look at the link or website that generated the article and then usually pass on by. It’s not that I don’t think there’s, at a minimum, something factually correct with each of the stories, but what makes me pass is that it’s surely slanted or as the nation has come to call it in the last six months – fake.

And there is the deeper discussion. Do we choose to consume fake news? I think we do at almost every turn.

When you click on an article, or pick up a newspaper, you’re choosing to read it. Whether it be Breitbart or Mashable or Politico or USA Today…whatever..it’s all slanted one way or another based on the ownerships’ leanings. Most of you have your favorites, the ones that prepare the dialogue to be specifically consumed by you. The number one priority is not informing you…it’s selling it to you. They sell it, obviously, by creating an audience and selling advertising to the companies that need their message in front of you. You choose to read it because it conforms to your political and socio-economic preferences.

So let’s start there. We all know that news isn’t produced to inform, but to sell. Kind of hypocritical coming from me considering my company provides news, sports, opinion and advertising space for smaller local companies to reach people in the local market. What I try to do that is different is not to spin. I just fill in the gaps between quotes from the people that are supposed to be in the know and then let you, the reader, at your choosing, consume it. They will, without a doubt, do the spinning. The reader is charged with consuming that information from that assumption – that we aren’t talking against your grain, it’s our sources that may be. We’re just giving them the space to do so.

Our valued advertisers come along because they see we are creating a following of people who they deem to be their target market. Some see the value in “sharing” and want to tap that unknown. They see the traffic being created by the information we generate and they see an opportunity to get in front of those readers. We provide a service to our readers and at the same time a service to those choosing to advertise in our product.

That’s generational and spans the history of American media.

 

 

About Chuck Vandenberg 1720 Articles

Pen City Current and pencitycurrent.com are products of Market Street Publishing, LLC, a multi-platform media company delivering hyper-local news, sports and advertising information to Fort Madison, IA and surrounding communities.

2 Comments

  1. I dont agree with your statement regarding fake news. Investigative journalism in reporting the news in our country is dead . Our main stream news all broadcasts scripted news information and government propaganda. If some company is going to intentionally mislead the public with lies and false news reports. They should be required to state its not true. Congress passed a law government could officially lie and feed the public false propaganda. In doing so they eliminated the peoples ability to be educated and informed about the governments actions. How are the people supposed to know if news is fake.. Its a sad day for any true news journalist or reporter. Its how the Nazis brainwashed the German people .With government controlled media

    • We really appreciate your feedback and reading our publication. Although we disagree that investigative journalism is “dead” in our country. Can we agree that it’s not nearly as good as it once was and it’s so important now for us to get back to that integrity. We’re human, and just like everything has a price, everyone has an opinion. Let’s just hope we spend it the right way. Thanks again.

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