Regarding Cindy Elmore’s Dec. 4 Point of View “Fight fake news by backing real journalism”: I too lament false news masquerading as reality. But I don’t think her comments adequately address the complexities of the issue.
An example is climate change. Elmore said, “Real journalists go out of their way to include knowledgeable sources on both sides of an issue.” What do real journalists do when there isn’t another credible side to an issue, yet substantial pressure to report on it?
Journalists reported the “other side” time and again after being lambasted by conservatives who didn’t even try to understand the science. The idea that science has a political position inhibits journalists trying to report reality.
Lastly, the statement, “Real journalists work at news organizations where advertisers do not have the power to influence news stories” seems to me a narrow interpretation of money influencing news.
The fossil fuel industry’s money and lobbyists influenced elected officials toward their opinions. Do real journalists disqualify politician’s opinions because their campaigns and super-PACs take money from these sources? So, the question is, how can real journalists report the truth when they must seemingly contradict the traditional journalistic mores Elmore presented?