Who do you trust to give you accurate news?

Garland Robinette, The Think Tank
Wednesday, June 28th

Who do you trust to give you accurate news?  With CNN retracting a Trump - Russia story and three staffers resigning, do you have less faith in that network?    With so much fake news on social media... and mainstream organizations with clear political leanings how do you know what is true and what is not?  Do you fact check major news stories?  What is your main source for news?  

This segments guest:    
Dr. Josh Darr - Associate Professor @ LSU Manship School of Mass Communications


Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

A professor. It's going well I'm glad you could join us. Is getting increasingly difficult I think for the average news consumer. To know who to trust and who not to what to believe in what to not believe I can't tell you how many times. Every week that I have friends family. Sees something on social media and immediately text me call me or forward it to me and say is this real. Because they don't even know what's real and what's not that they are seeing in their feet and then Maggie here cnn.com. Sending a single anonymous source. Published a story that senate investigators were looking into an alleged meeting. Between a member of the president's transition team. And an executive in Russia. That they could not prove or have any reasonable reason to expect or believe was true. Now three people have to resign over in the after retract the story where does that put us in this discussion. Well but there's two aspects that would suggest that one of which is that there are simply infinite numbers of new sources the state he used to be that you and radio you'd turn on your TV feed local and national news if you can newspaper ad from the local news at national news and it. But she did not have infinite. Numbers as put places besides who's now stuck just appears in front. I haven't heard you mention with regard to the social media needs of the beginning. You just see information and you are internalized the information before you see where from and what she's helping it's hard on the it's hard on and get. Even PG fact checker and so. I think that people are just too many options these days and it's possible that people don't know what to do with all that. With regard for the CNN story I think you know and messed up in the way they've fully admitted that. There are prophecy to reporting news or these mainstream news now embracing to a broken down here one single anonymous source. Is not enough certainly something we would teach in the journalism aspect of dementia school if you generally want. Two courses on something. As many as you can get obviously get somewhat record even even better. But there's. Obviously appetite hurt her trumpet Russian news right now. Commenting and I think has now admitted that they are too quickly and historian told reporters and incurred a birdie here or occasional cost of those opposite I think that people wouldn't think twice before. Trusting him and story in Russia these days and so. You know these these properties are more important than going through late kind of action could try and making sure that it opened called hello Ian analytic and through. Past lawyers aspect checkered past people that there and the story to a golf. Portland and that whole process. On one level insisting. Lee the head of the unit that did this story. CNN's investigative editor was out of town at the time at a journalism conference. Well Terry was published which is kind of funny in and of itself. That degree of his employees have now resigned after pushing this story while he was a way that. They could not credible the support the information that they reported. There hasn't been you know well maybe you brought a little while back yeah man yeah I have a reasonable keep an eye on things that you know it. It's obviously a problem for him and the didn't follow their own standards but it doesn't allow us to sort of peak into what they're newsroom looks like in the do you have the standard. When things break down sometimes we feel a little bit more about how the pop its maiden so if you are. You know disinclined to trust CNN see this as more evidence that fake news. If you're inclined to get the benefit of the doubt say they have a process or followed that move quickly corrected. And now I know a little bit more about what the processes. So. An awful lot comes on how you woman and interpret things and how you you know when interpret the news that you're getting. Well let's take each of these things separately that you think you just mentioned first going back to the social media aspect of things. People see things in their news feeds on social media whether it's FaceBook or Twitter or instant Graham. Wherever it is they are getting there headlines and their news feed. Which is kind of strange term to me in general purpose equality news V. Waiting clues everything from pictures. There aunts you know favorite foods. To there their best friends knew children. Two jokes to clear irony to what may or may not be real news all comes in one place it's altogether. And they just April through and they see it and some agreement comes from like real news.com. And we are by definition that is then fake nephews habit. It's so difficult I think for the average person did trying to determine what to believe in what the not. And at least now I think that we've got the conversation going to a point where people will say out loud is this real. But maybe not still not enough people are even questioning matter. I don't think that's hard for the first spot when you read something. You often just sort of you know you interpreted as you see it and then. Maybe the second the other supplies are bigger courts in your news sheet and so by the time you look at the source birdie on. On the scene. And differences research shows that even when companies would immediately corrected. It's still leaves an impression on you psychologically is still the negative information about the candidate and accept. Is that what you just written all. Still have worst impressions of that candidate. I think people sort of understand that were propagating this district is on social media. In terms of these macedonians and trade like you say real pleased dot com can. You know there's a couple of them that. It mania. But maybe more more popular on the left or right. They know that it can happen it's gonna affect attitudes and so well I think the interesting next up for the nobody is forced it to people like FaceBook and Twitter to Gorham. How those companies start to respond to this on FaceBook to shut up about thirty. Don't mean web sites that were masquerading as American news sites. Are they going to get more aggressive in what they're eating your speed. And is that the leaders is older users expect. I mean how much editorial power do FaceBook users. Want FaceBook Attleboro over what they see that seems to me like it will be the next step in the. Yeah and it went to the conversation go from. FaceBook is trying to get rid of fake news Q FaceBook is now editing the news or deciding what news we see. And when they go from doing the right thing in many guys doing then the wrong thing in overstepping those bounds. It's interesting conversations that we've never had to have before because I think you're right you pointed out earlier it used to be much simpler. To consume news you had television radio and newspaper and that was that but. That those limited sources are are now it's splintered and it's much harder. For people to even identify where their news is coming from if they even care to identify where it's coming from before they make decisions. Do we still don't have a situation where the major news organizations by and large in your opinion. Are doing good journalism that we have occasional. Screw ups like we just saw with CNN. We have some perhaps leanings in coverage but by and large are the major news organization still. Being journalistically responsible. I think there because I think it would be pretty costly for them they were like Erica this week it seems like parents. Had some pretty. Sizable occupational cost for CNET. I get that you may think twice about trusting it and Russia story these places had real profession as a under attack by a politician he liked to have. Real professional tenants. To make sure they're doing great crossing that he. And so you know the Washington Post does not Iran story that has thirty anonymous sources and some of them thirty White House sources. You know I was a politician caught despray. When the first story came out it was wood nine people. Quoted in the story that I've had my console a lot. Mr. up to 2730. And so they're really trying to make sure they talked about people they can get. There. If they don't know if there you know at it if they make mistakes flexing inundated this week if you do believe that state can not them and it won't have to guardians or whatever. Then. It's gonna cost them and the content related the most valuable thing they have is their reputation as a source for the people whose views of people wanna pay for. Is that advertisers want to pay to put their appetizers and advertisements in front of people. That's really what what valuable to them and so if that breaks out. That's a real problem they don't make them money from being. Liberal or conservative media outlets in general would make money by the media outlets that. People feel like they can trust in terms. Doctor guard tell me this. It's perceived now largely that name may even the major news organizations. Whether they be television and radio. Newspaper many people perceive that they have leanings one way or another. Too laughter or to the right. Do you believe that's true and if so how to we resolve that journalistically. Well I think that actually broke through American history. Most news organizations have apparently one way or the other that kind of weird. I think in the middle of the twentieth century were there at the street television networks and had to drop many figures as possible. And so we have this trend toward objectivity trend toward presenting both sit both sides story we have journalism school bought them and objectivity is. I know that mattered a lot for journalism I think and obviously I think it's very important to be objective is oh. To report the fact the question is. Does that. Plant one way or the other perceived or or not include the laypeople. Interpret the news and does that mean that everything he's organizational port can be. Clearly the net and I think. If we're looking at the news that the purse structure of history trying to get information from many corners possible. That we canyon. You know still still alive is covered to be valuable if it helped the Olympics about. The world goes right and I think that you know you often see the accusation by being deployed as part of the strategic argument. I'm one example being. Heard you know that the law imposed for the huge story about how the Obama administration largely ignored. He Russian attacks on the US election process. And decided not to move on it was unable the thing about what the election the Obama administration came out looking pretty well there. And Donald Trump came out of in the last couple days in fed while Obama is doing it legally or the other bought under attack it but a great group. And then today. They came out the story about and they need to be oh Amazon's Washington Post. Better watch out and paying an up and Internet taxes we can change that. So one day the that goes with the secretary of state post war. Opel and biased against them and agreed to be a little careful and you know maybe take out. Just because we think something went to glumly in the other we can't compare reporting getting back at CNN once again. If they're following the property of reporting that we think picture. So news by and large you think as a canoes consumer people should still have confidence that. There are good journalists doing good work to try and report what is actually happening. Out there in the world. But know that there are these perceived bias biases and maybe. Take that into account when you interpret the news. That our. It's good hope there are good journalists and trying to find. Really. And I think that is something people should be should hope for him and think about it and journalist and they have to be. Hired and employed by news organization. Writes for the New York Times say editorial board different from the time. Reporting and really good journalist. Might wanna work for your time because its biggest newspaper in America. They may not you know. An element developed a reputation in that way but that means hired and our captains their job because they power. A liberal think that the different different type of question journalists and kind of are they get the story right almost almost you know that the Google and stay employed order. Developed a good reputation element do their job well I think in the field they have to be important that someone again in the editorial board and go the other. Ideally people increasing your time in the violent think maybe this is. Maybe you read this story and maybe see what the facts parties sort of make up your mind. Our hero. Doctors are appreciate your sharing your expertise with us and tenants some light on this here on WWL I know we talk and you again down the road have a great afternoon. Wonderful program.