Fact checking followed by media organisations, is a key aspect to ensure that the news you are reading is real. Media organisations need to do this on a day to day basis as they are bombarded with disinformation. Organisations such as BBC, for years, have followed the concept of cross-checking any information with multiple sources before publishing or broadcasting the news.
The Social Media Conundrum
The advent of social media complicated the matters. The information you get on Facebook or WhatsApp is generally not checked. Meaning, this may be true or false. A few years back, many used to ask… “Why I require traditional media, when I have social media to look up.” Even if the message was just a forwarded one, people used to believe what a friend sent.
Credibility at Stake
It is time that all of us realise that our own credibility is at stake when we forward a message. People think that you are agreeing with the information that you just forwarded. But then that may not necessarily be the case. For instance, a message that is derogatory to a community may be inadvertently forwarded by you. Many would start believing that you are against the particular community.
Media Tools to Check Facts
Media organisations are very particular that their credibility is not compromised. They use many tools and methods to ensure that the news they are publishing is factually correct. However, the first and foremost need is the ability to filter out the truth from all the information that is available.
Once they have a doubt, they will cross-check the information from multiple sources. If the proof is still not comprehensive, they would not take up the story. If in doubt… leave out!
Trying to reach the primary source is the first attempt. If you can know the information from the horses mouth…!
Images and Videos are reverse searched. More about that in my next post
Interestingly, once such information is found, many media organisations believe in debunking the false news. Recently, one of the big media houses, the Times of India debunked one such news.
A viral twitter post had applauded the efforts of an Indian policeman, oddly, it was found that the policeman was actually from Pakistan.