Since Donald Trump became America’s 45th President, there has been no love lost between him and the global news media, most of whom are from America and of Western orientations.
Trump started a major onslaught against what he popularly called ‘Fake News’. He has accused media giants such as the CNN, CBS, the New York Times and even the Washington Post of purveying bare-faced lies against him. While many of his critics have argued he only label negative coverage of his presidency as Fake News, however, globally, everyone in the media business should be concerned.
This is because all the major media empires labelled Fake News pushers are premium platforms commanding some of the fattest advertising budget from America and the rest of the world. Recent studies have shown that the perception of Fake News accusations have negative effects on the audiences of these major giants. This will rub off on other contents relayed by the platform. Why should anyone take any advertising message showed on a TV channel serially-accused of being a Fake News machine?
When an average audience tune or stream CNN, ChannelsTV or any other reputable media organisation, they believe they are getting authentic news and information they can act on. The moment everything is now labelled a sham, it becomes a dissonance that will have ripple-effects and series of negative consequences.
All over the world, various political leaders have also joined the fray to campaign against streams of information from various media outlets they consider as fake. Despite the political undertone pervading this phenomenon, it will be a fallacy to deny Fake News exist. As a matter of fact, one could not exaggerate to conclude that it is the biggest threat to the media in the 21st Century. Many propagandist have taken advantage of this menace to spread lies, hate and even manipulate elections and by extension, how they think and lead their lives.
As a take out, no one will win in the era of Fake News; be it the politician, journalists, media organisations and advertisers. Every one will have their fair share of the damaging effects of the menace. The solution is a concerted effort against Fake News, self-censorship, training for media professionals as well a fair legal system to combat Fake News merchants.