Fake news refers to yellow journalism or rather pseudo-news. This news is usually created or conveyed with the intent to spread propaganda or give false information intentionally.
Fabricated news is now posing a serious threat to the integrity of journalists and the media fraternity as a whole. The moment a source or entity conveys false news especially through a media personality or platform, the masses are bound to mistrust the entire media despite this being an isolated case. Journalists now have to counter-check sources and even do proper investigations before publishing or airing any piece of information. Due to a lack of ethics and proper research, some journalists have tainted the name of media by doing sloppy jobs even on major stories.
However, in the era of growth in citizen journalism and smaller media outlets including gutter press, fake news has become widespread. Bloggers online will come up with click baits simply to attract traffic to their sites. Influencers on social media are now even creating fake conflicts between celebrities to create publicity and going to the extent of defamation. The media has hence lost its credibility as a source of information and even caused actual damage to some parties involved.
Politicians and religious factions have taken advantage of this and paid media huge sums to broadcast or publish false viewpoints on public affairs or governance issues. For instance, some politicians have used the media to misinform the public on competing or rival groups during election campaigns. This has contributed to the media becoming biased in reporting news hence failing as a public watchdog.
The widespread of fake news has also led to the curtailing of media freedom. This is like in the case where the government has power over the media and may choose to shut down broadcasts such as during civil wars for security. Due to access to the internet, especially with social media, it has become increasingly difficult to monitor media as there are plenty of amateur journalists spreading fake news. This has also led to the degrading of media ethics and practices.
False information, especially on consumer goods and services, has misled the public leading to major losses. This has brought about uproar against media who have made adverts such as of real estate without doing due diligence, only for them to end up being fraudsters. With such uproar, some investors and sponsors are also likely to pull out of deals with such media companies. Others have given fake data for purposes of social media for marketing which has misled clients. Media outlets also lose their authority once such cases happen. And once their authority diminishes, the size of the audience is bound to decrease.