The Bee’s reprint of the Nov. 26 Craig Timberg’s Washington Post article, “Nonpartisan experts find Russian role in election ‘fake news,’ ” helps reveal a changing media landscape.
Not mentioned in The Bee was Matthew Ingram’s Fortune exposé, “No, Russian Agents Are Not Behind Every Piece of Fake News You See,” published the day before.
Mr. Ingram did some fact checking. He found The Post’s “independent researchers” were “a conservative think tank funded and staffed by proponents of the Cold War.” He found the web site named in the article “has only existed since August of this year” and was authored by unnamed researchers who came up with a “poorly thought-out blacklist.”
This Post story highlights the reason for a change in news reading habits. Many Americans don’t trust news outlets closely tied to owners’ politics and are turning to other sources, often outside of the mainstream. Labeling non-standard outlets “fake,” using questionable sources, reinforces this distrust and accelerates the search for trustworthy outlets.
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It took only a few minutes online to find the Fortune article. No matter what readers finally conclude about The Post’s claims, The Bee owed them a chance to look at all the information.
Richard Bailey, Reedley