The article titled The Rise of Fake News Amidst the Fall of News Media on Silicon Valley Watcher makes a convincing argument that fake news is the inevitable result of the collective failure to invest in professional media. The author, Tom Foremski, used to write for the Financial Times. He argues that the almost ongoing layoffs among professional media organizations such as the New York Times, Salon, The Guardian, AP, Daily Dot, and IBT illustrate the lack of a sustainable business model for professional news media. The article states,
People won’t pay for the news media they should be reading but special interest groups will gladly pay for the media they want them to read. We have important decisions to make about a large number of issues such as the economy, the environment, energy, education, elder healthcare and those are just the ones that begin with the letter “E” — there’s plenty more issues. With bad information we won’t be able to make good decisions. Software engineers call this GIGO – Garbage In Garbage Out.
Whole way in which information and society are organized has changed. From stovepipes to networks — growing power of audience and authentity. This is a threat to the whole Westphalian order of nations (i.e. top-down “because we say so” hierarchical authority). State-owned media now setting the new standard for message delivery while the Western media is collapsing for lack of viability of the advertising – print – broadcast models. Western media is spending too much time on minutia of single events and not enough time on framing, context, and meaning.
“It is time for schools to come down from the ivory tower…and start engaging with the public, doing news analysis, data dives, informing the public [in ways that] the media cannot. . . . This is an opportunity as well as a responsibility.”
I joined the Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI) well over 3 years ago with a very specific mission and mandate: to develop and deploy next generation humanitarian technologies. So I built the Institute’s Social Innovation Program from the ground up and recruited the majority of the full-time experts (scientists, engineers, research assistants, interns & project manager) who have become integral to the Program’s success.