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C O U R S E 
Fake News, Facts, and Alternative Facts
Josh Pasek, University of Michigan
C O U R S E   L E C T U R E 
How News Has Changed
Notes taken on April 2, 2018 by Edward Tanguay
there's been a shift over the journalism industry over the last 35 years
how we consume our news
how reporters do their jobs
the rise of digital technology
news is still in demand
the news model is not broken but the business model is
the advertising that would support three or four hundred staffers in a news room is gone
it's gone to the web
in fact, it's now parsed in such small numbers that even news on the web typically cannot drive enough ad revenue to support the kinds of organizations we became accustomed to seeing
within the past ten years, the number of journalists working for daily newspapers in the United States has fallen by half
journalists don't just throw something up on the web
it's a time consuming effort to keep on top of local affairs, national affairs, international affairs
there used to be five levels of editing
now in some news organizations there is no editing
today's a single reporter is going straight to the web with a story that hasn't been checked, hasn't been read, hasn't been questioned, hasn't been challenged
when you think of this editing as quality control, it is gone now in many news reporting organizations
if you are lucky, there are one level of editing, maybe two
the website that feeds news only pays about 20% or less of the revenue that keeps a news organization going
papers still rely on paper for about 80% of their revenue
the scope of journalism is changing
click-bait sites are being produced and in some cases are getting more revenue than professional sites which has staff which takes significant time and training
journalists used to be called gate-keepers, it was a monopoly
you couldn't really get your message out unless a reporter wrote it and it was published in a newspaper
that gate-keeper function is gone, it's been erased by the digital world
today, anyone with a computer can look like a journalist
fake news outlets have always existed
there has always been propaganda
now they are not trying to put one over on the reporter, they're just putting it on the web
if a tiny fraction of people see it and believe it, their mission is accomplished
how do you parse the information you are exposed to
it's more adversarial now
the digital world is ravenous, it must be fed on a constant cycle
tips for media consumers to navigate the flow of information
1. consider the source
if it has a history of putting a spin on stories, don't look at these stories
don't immediately react to something that might be untrue
2. use snopes.com and fact checkers
3. consider the person who wrote the story
google the name of the person who wrote the story
4. be aware of branding
trust sources that have given you solid news
how to parse out a mistake and intentional fake news
one doesn't always have all the facts
the problem is the speed that media companies have to get out the news
we need to have more skeptical readers