Newspaper boxes

Where do you get your news from? Is it from the radio, the TV? Or is it from the newspaper that you are reading at this very moment? Chances are, if you’ve been alive for more than 50 years, then you most likely get your news from one of these media. However, today, younger people are facing a sort of information crisis.

For example, my friend, Scott, gets his news from a combination of sources such as France24 and The Washington Post, while my other friend, Madyson, gets her news from reading the U.K.’s Daily Mail and looking at Buzzfeed.

The concept of mass media originally initiated with the invention of the newspaper in the early 1600s in Europe. In most towns, there were very few choices to read from, at most three or four different newspapers. However, with the invention of the radio and subsequently radio news in 1906, the range of information people had access to began broadening, and the speed of information transportation increased along with it.

People transitioned from radio to television as their primary news source in the 1950s. The television opened a broad new horizon for advertisers and newscasters alike, and provided a huge new platform for global news.

In the mid-1990s, with the internet going mainstream, the space for news again grew exponentially larger, and even larger still with the invention of social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter in the early 2000s.

Now we are in the modern day and the number of individual news sites and pages continues to grow. People must come to terms with the newest threat to progress, fake news.

The definition of fake news is, in reality, fluid. However, the Cambridge Dictionary states that fake news is created on the internet to propagate untrue news either to affect political views or as a joke. Unlike previous generations, people today must face an onslaught of incoming information whenever they open their phones or look on the internet. When people read newspapers in the past, there was a mixture of articles people liked, didn’t like, or felt indifferent toward, and that was perfectly normal.

Today, however, young and old people alike are faced with different algorithms and programs on the internet designed to show you only news that you agree with, or are interested in. This can, in many cases, lead to a lack of knowledge of the other side’s perspective, or missing out on certain parts of the news entirely.

While it may seem as if we have so many options to get our news from in this day and age, do we really have that many options? It takes much digging to get away from these programs, and I encourage everyone to do so, for the real danger of fake news is not only just the information that is false, but also it is the programs behind this fake news pushing to you only information that you wish to see, and not the information that you need to see.