In recent months, ‘fake news’ has a become a big thing, bandied about to create discontent and angst in the general population, as they struggle to work out who to trust in mainstream media.
Fake news is not a new concept. However, it has been around since merchant sailors and travellers brought exotic news about other lands back to the mainland. In those days, the messages or news became distorted with time, paying homage to ‘Chinese whispers’. Although some might believe this was a natural occurrence to sharing information across time and borders, others believe it was a deliberate intent to sensationalise or mislead the people. It appears nothing much has changed in this respect.
Receiving information by TV or print media used to be considered reasonably reliable and trustworthy, as journalists sought to get the ‘real’ story, but with the advent of technology and the instantaneous World Wide Web, the ability to determine what is genuine and what is fabrication has become increasingly difficult.
It is often a lack of transparency around information ‘sources’ that makes it tricky to distinguish fact from fiction, and leads people to feel suspicious or sceptical as to whether the media they are reading is credible.
When it comes to financial news media, it is crucial for readers to be given access to both sides of a situation, to truly appreciate all angles of an event or topic, so they can make an informed decision. It is even more important today, when many investors get their information not only from the mainstream TV and print media, but internet resources too.