With the development of various information and communication technologies today, anyone can create and share information anytime, anywhere. In other words, an environment where fake news is optimized for distribution has been created. In fact, a case of fake news spreading through new media in recent years has emerged as a social problem. Two main motivations underlie the production of fake news: financial and ideological. On one hand, outrageous and fake stories that go viral—precisely because they are outrageous—provide content producers with clicks that are convertible to advertising revenue. On the other hand, other fake news providers produce fake news to promote particular ideas or people that they favour, often by discrediting others. (Tandoc, 2019, p.138)
As a person majoring in communication and running a blog like this, I would like to describe this false news and new media situation from a journalist’s point of view. Due to changes in the media environment, such as the emergence of one-person media and the development of social media, the boundaries between news producers and suppliers are blurred and false information, so-called “fake news,” is circulated online. As social media develops, the position of the media decreases and articles that do not go through gatekeeping is rampant, and the media can no longer show off its weight to readers. Journalists follow certain standardized and centralized rules in gatekeeping in order to make sense of the world and provide an overview of “important” events that they believe their readers seek and need. This, indeed, partly determines the news selection process and the way traditional news organizations are shaped. (Al-Rawi, 2019, p.3) In the past, the media used to be accepted by the people, but now the readers verify the articles, and the media manipulate the facts or filter out the articles written to suit their taste. In other words, readers are doing gatekeeping on their own. In addition, many people perform some of the functions of the media through YouTube and other platforms.
The world has changed rapidly, and the news viewers living in it have begun to change, and this moment is still changing. The fact that the news is no longer watched only through TV is the beginning of the eruption. Viewers have begun to look for news that can be seen in mobile environments, and interesting news that is not hard enough. This is not to say that demand for traditional news has disappeared at all. However, it is difficult to watch hard news programs for a long time in a palm-sized mobile environment, and it makes some sense that there is a demand for news with added entertainment elements. Therefore, each media company opened a new media news channel and started to create various contents, and social media chose news on its own. The media environment, which is closely related to information and communication technology, is rapidly changing through robot journalism. “Robot journalism” refers to the act of automatically writing articles using computer algorithms, a combination of “robot,” which means artificial intelligence computers, and “journalism,” which means news reports. (Thurman, Dörr & Kunert, 2017)
In the future, getting information through blogs and social media contents will gradually decrease. Inaccurate information created by fake news and media profits can no longer attract readers’ attention. Confidence given by more rational and certain-looking words such as “robot” and “computer” will dominate informational posting. The environment of new media is shifting from human-centred journalism to fact-oriented. However, in the case of conventional mass-production articles, robots can produce them, but the value of unique journalism, such as public interest, is bound to be made by human hands. The role of the new media journalist is to ensure objectivity with mutual subjectivity and explain the truth by choosing, verifying, and understanding the context beyond the simple delivery of facts. New Media is approaching the public so that teenagers can easily grasp social issues by adding not only fragmentary information but also various contextual contexts along with visual data. Axel Bruns sees networked audiences tweeting and Facebooking the news engaging in a new kind of productive information use. He calls it produsage – or user-led content creation – that vastly grows the number of actors involved in constructing the news. (Witschge, Anderson, Domingo, &Hermida, 2016, p.4) Eventually, creator like us will focus on articles that provide in-depth interpretation, evaluation, and outlook for survival. And this change will naturally weaken the competitiveness of Internet newspapers, which mainly write, and report mass-produced articles, and further improve the Internet media environment and raise the level of information consumers.
Al-Rawi, Ahmed. (2019). Gatekeeping Fake News Discourses on Mainstream Media Versus Social Media. Social Science Computer Review, 37(6), 687–704. https://doi.org/10.1177/0894439318795849
BBC. The juicer. https://bbcnewslabs.co.uk/projects/juicer/.
Tandoc, Edson C. (2019). The facts of fake news: A research review. Sociology Compass, 13(9), n/a–n/a. https://doi.org/10.1111/soc4.12724
Thurman, Neil, Dörr, Konstantin, & Kunert, Jessica. (2017). When Reporters Get Hands-on with Robo-Writing. Digital Journalism, 5(10), 1240–1259. https://doi.org/10.1080/21670811.2017.1289819
Witschge, T., Anderson, C. W., Domingo, D., & Hermida, A. (Eds.). (2016). The SAGE handbook of digital journalism. Sage.