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Modern Media and fake news

Discussion in 'Pakistan Defence Magazine' started by saiyan0321, Feb 20, 2018.

  1. saiyan0321

    saiyan0321 SENIOR MEMBER

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    Modern Media and fake news

    by saiyan0321



    Introduction

    In the last few years, media has seen massive growth. With the advent of social media network sites like facebook and twitter, the borders of media have undergone a rapid expansion and media itself has evolved drastically to become more receptive to the vastness of social media which houses hundreds of millions of users.

    Modern technology is growing rapidly and this has provided every person a platform within the world of the internet. Social media network sites and forums are now being visited by every demograph and this visitation and growth has given media and news outlets a new ground to directly reach the populace.

    Pakistan is a country which is perhaps its most prime example. Once a country famous for media curbs is home to dozens of private news channels all presenting news all over Pakistan 24/7 and these news channels have also formed a very solid base on the internet with websites as well as user accounts on social media. They constantly interact with the people providing them news.



    Positive effects of this evolution

    Our media is a vibrant media which is growing and growing and has risen to become a powerhouse in its own way, able to effect judiciary, parliament and even the army. Whether a dictator or an elected prime minister, none have been able to escape its claws. This freedom has allowed many media outlets to open shop. They range from local news targeting at district level towards national media outlets with channels in different regional languages to reach everyone.

    This has yielded positive results as many examples stand of media pressure which has prompted the security forces and government to act upon a matter.



    The search for profits

    Like all institutions, the growth of media into an enormous state policy effecting being has brought in it seeds of greed and corruption. Private media channels earn their revenue through ads and TRP and this search for TRPs has diverted the focus from “providing accurate news” to “providing sensationalist news that sells” and this is slowly blinding and hindering the growth of a vibrant media whose future was bright…

    In the words of Osweld Mosly

    “Newspapers are not made any longer by news or journalism. They are made by sheer weight of money expressed in free gift schemes. They serve not the interests of the many, but the vested interests of the few.” 1


    This downfall of Pakistan media is a sad story but alas profit searching is not the only disease that has afflicted the media of Pakistan.

    With the rise of several media outlets and the growth of social media, the news channels have entered into a race for first reporting. With the delusion that the one who reports an incident the quickest and with the most sensationalism would be able to gather and capture the most TRPs, the once sober and ethical news channels have become heralds of Rome shouting the news repeatedly with the addition and constant repetition of the phrase “we are the first to bring this news to you”. It has reached such absurdity that many news channels at the same time would be repeating this phrase giving you the impression of children shouting over each other saying, “me, me, and me”!!

    The issue stands that the job of media is to provide accurate, unbiased information to the masses. However their failure to authenticate the news has led to the rise of disinformation and the modern concept of “fake news”.


    In my opinion disinformation is more harmful that lack of information. For disinformation creates fear, confusion and frustration amongst the masses and often can lead towards devastating results.

    The power of media to effect and formulate the thinking of the masses has increased greatly with the advent of social media, this power gets abused when the media outlet displays journalistic dishonesty, lack of journalistic care and usage of journalistic bias. Hundreds of Thousands of people in Pakistan tune in to their TV to watch the news along with hundreds of thousands who utilize social media, radio and printed media with the trust that the information that these outlets provide from these platforms will be accurate and it’s this trust that allows media to formulate opinions as well display the devastating effects that disinformation carries.

    The thing is that it is not the job of the masses to authenticate the information they receive as many do not have the time nor the energy nor the necessary skill to investigate each piece of news. Thus there stands this trust between the masses and the media outlets.


    Rise of profit searching, quick reporting and political biasedness has led to the free fall of Pakistan media and is damaging the trust between the masses and Pakistan media.


    Pratik Sinha, founder of alt news stated

    “Fake information is building fear psychosis among the people.”


    The rise of Political social media groups has allowed for a greater spread of disinformation as ideologies and personalities target each other repeatedly.


    For example


    In the February of 2017 the geo group ran a news stating that the Chief justice of Pakistan justice saqib nisar has stated that “Wants Shahbaz Sharif to become prime minister,” which caused the court the take Suo moto action against the news channel.

    And another more recent example that on 19 February 2017 The senate resolution for creation of Chinese centers for the learning of Chinese language2 and this was reported by Abbtakk as the senate passing a motion for crating Chinese language as an official language. This disinformation was retweeted by over 100 people on their twitter account and thy also ran a poll with it to boot. The news was picked by Indian media with multiple outlets reporting it leading to a spread of disinformation amongst hundreds of thousands within a short period of 24 hours. 3

    This news allowed for fear mongering of colonization as well as abusing of Pakistan state, senate and the pak-china relationship. The damaged was not as severe as it could have been due to the fact that other media outlets from Pakistan did not report as such however this incident stands at the top of what happens when a simple spread of disinformation from a single source and how far reaching it can be.



    One cannot hide nor deny and must appreciate the fact and role social media plays in bringing people the truth. Its most recent example would be the Pashtun long march which was greatly covered on social media and it was through social media that they were able to pressurize the government to address their grievances.


    However one cannot and should not hide the negative just because of its positives. One must force the evolution to remove the negatives and in these modern times there is a serious requirement to combat fake news.


    Combatting fake news and role of Pakistan electronics and media regulating authority.

    We must keep in mind that to combat negatives, we must not sacrifice the positives. One of the greatest positives of Pakistan media and social media is its vibrancy and freedom and this must not be harmed.

    Creation of legislations which curbs the media is absolutely no solution as it’s another step towards protecting the top brass. Curbs do not and cannot lead towards reduction of disinformation. The steps must be precise and serious.


    Recently The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) Friday unanimously decided to impose a fine of Rs1 million on each national private TV channel and Rs500,000 on each regional TV channel, which had aired fake news of a bomb blast in Gulberg, Lahore on February 23, 2017.

    The authority also directed the management of all 29 TV channels to air apology on their screens on March 06, 2017 at 6:00pm in the same manner and magnitude as the fake news was aired. Besides, tickers/scroll pertaining to apology shall also be aired from 6:00pm to 7:00pm during the regular transmission of the channels.

    The national news and current affairs channels, which aired fake news of bomb blast in Gulberg, Lahore are namely Samaa TV, Dawn News, Channel-5, 7 News, Din News, Capital TV, BOL News, News One, AbbTakk, Roze TV, K-21, Jaag TV, Waqt TV, Channel-92, Express News, Sach TV, Channel-24, Lahore News, Metro One, Geo News, Duniya TV, ARY News, NEO TV and Koh-e-Noor. 4


    Such vigilance can go a long way in contributing in combatting fake news where media outlets which publish such fake news are punished.


    However we must keep in mind that fake news cannot and should not be categorized as news that the state or its governing body considers fake. The fake news must be complete disinformation which is either an exaggeration which takes the news away from the realms of reality or is an outright lie. The hunt for fake news must be free from biasedness of every form especially political and ideological form. Failure to adhere to this will only help in the spread of disinformation.

    Along with this the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) published a summary in diagram form (pictured at right) to assist people in recognizing fake news. These points have been corroborated by experts in the cognitive science of information processing and its main points are:

    1. Consider the source (to understand its mission and purpose)

    2. Read beyond the headline (to understand the whole story)

    3. Check the authors (to see if they are real and credible)

    4. Assess the supporting sources (to ensure they support the claims)

    5. Check the date of publication (to see if the story is relevant and up to date)

    6. Ask if it is a joke (to determine if it is meant to be satire)

    7. Review your own biases (to see if they are affecting your judgement)

    8. Ask experts (to get confirmation from independent people with knowledge).

    Plus the media outlets must showcase their own journalistic values and combat disinformation greatly by making sure that their news reporting is free from any bias and also verify its authenticity even at the expense of it becoming late. A professional attitude can go a long way and in a professional environment.


    The reader must also look into the news. Those of us that can must take proper steps to combat fake news. Simply posting on forums or on your twitter account is simply not good enough where your voice is simply not loud enough to reach the masses.

    Pakistan electronics and media regulatory authority has launched online compliant cell where you provide your name, CNIC and can even attach images as evidence. The process does not take more than a couple of minutes and if you do not do your part then you are only helping the spread of disinformation which can be very harmful to your country.




    Conclusion


    In the end as Media grows and enters new horizons, concrete steps must be taken to make sure all news is authentic however these steps must not affect the freedom and vibrancy of the media. Nuclear steps like complete bans of topics or news or wrongful pressure and witch hunts do nothing to combat disinformation but have a very negative and adverse effect on important information which needs to be delivered to the masses.

    Media itself also needs to be responsible and look to honour the journalistic standards. There is nothing more sad and frustrating than to see your once growing and vibrant media enter into the realms of gutter filled with TRP hounding.




    Source





    1. Fascism: One Hundred Questions Asked And Answered


    2. https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2018/02/19/senate-passes-five-bills-adopts-three-resolutions/


    3. http://www.newindianexpress.com/wor...as-official-language-of-pakistan-1776100.html


    4. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/19...-on-channels-airing-fake-news-on-Lahore-blast







     
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  2. saiyan0321

    saiyan0321 SENIOR MEMBER

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  3. Dash

    Dash BANNED

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    I remember back in the mid nineties there will ba media outlet like a press just one guy and his daughter running the institution will report local news that highlights public health, state policies, concerns of a bridge construction getting delayed or a the delay in sanctions of world bank loan and corruption involving around it.

    It was authentic and the intention was to highlight incompetencies of the govt and the likes of it.

    The publishing guy will be wearing a Kurta pajama and will earn minuscule just enough and sometimes less to run his family.

    But their kids were left with both, except an ideology that crippled their future and deprived them from aspirations that his father taught them that they will enrich if thy time was honest.

    The kid listened to his dad and listened intently, but just to figure out, that human doing was more practical than human being.

    Fast forward it to 21st century.

    The same kid is now armed with degrees from Oxford and PhD from Harvard.

    Having seen his father plight with which he barely coped coped one day was difficult to endure and refusing at the same time against with people around the world with crony socialism with stigmatized capitalism.

    The stigma was so compelling that he dropped his cakes and going for the table was his goal.

    Now he works and probably owns some of the most power Media outlets in the world.

    And tells us that stories are for sale, a story his father couldn’t write but he made it his own by owning it. A story he makes.
     
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  4. Zibago

    Zibago ELITE MEMBER

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    Fake news is not always fake occasionally just headline is changed to give support to narrative of the paying party

    What we need to do is fact check and call out sources that are major culprits and also look at past narrative and funding of a source
    [​IMG]
    We all now know why such sources claimed ICIJ took down name of Nawaz and why they claimed whatsapp formed jit they get paid to do propaganda against all those wanting an end to corruption of their financers/masters
     
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  5. Joe Shearer

    Joe Shearer PROFESSIONAL

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    That was an excellent analysis. Without either subtracting from it or adding to it, I would like to report the growth of deliberate falsifying agencies, with a fixed political objective, and the increasing recognition of these as consistent sources of false news. This will take a little while, till Friday, due to some pressing professional engagements.
     
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  6. saiyan0321

    saiyan0321 SENIOR MEMBER

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    After 2013 election Pakistan media did the exact thing as you have mentioned.

    Ary and geo started a war with Ary for anti govt and anti N and geo for pro gov and anti Imran.

    Both would partake in complete falsified news and utter exaggeration and woefully bias analysis. Senseless analysis.

    On top of it all Bol network came out whose channel format was BBC like and looked filled with potential only to slide down.

    It is not the job of media to start hate campaigns, its not the job of media to start take political sides, its not the job of media to provide bias analysis.


    Joe I love my media and it does great good and that is exactly why the downfall is hurting.

    It is through constructive criticism that we can enact a change which will help iron out the negatives and help positive growth and this is for all the institutions.
     
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  7. WaLeEdK2

    WaLeEdK2 SENIOR MEMBER

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    media in the contemporary world is only used to incite hate and distrust between the masses. they use the guise of freedom of speech/expression to proceed with their devilish intentions. they have a certain agenda that is only beneficial for a select few while simultaneously deceiving the people. with the advent of social media being passed around as "credible" information it makes the situation even more dangerous. nowadays people don't rely on themselves for information they become mindless zombies trusting the very people that trick them.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2018
  8. Divergent

    Divergent SENIOR MEMBER

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    Another good written piece - do you have a blog or is it a hobby? @saiyan0321
     
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  9. saiyan0321

    saiyan0321 SENIOR MEMBER

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    Thanks alot. Nope no blog.

    Whenever i have free time, i like to write.