Local journalists discuss the impact of 'fake news' - WEEK.com: Peoria-area News, Weather, Sports

Local journalists discuss the impact of 'fake news'

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In Bloomington-Normal local journalists described how they function day-to-day in this era where they may be labeled as "fake news."

"Given what the international, national news we're faced with everyday, given our current situation in Washington I think it is an important conversation to have even at a local level just to see, even to get in touch with the people that listen, that read, that watch what we do," WJBC radio News Director Katherine Murphy said.

Topics like employee shortages and President Trump going head-to-head with national outlets were discussed, but many in the audience were curious about how local newsrooms handle things.

"I'm a little concerned on the state of affairs in the country, nationwide actually, and to be able to sit in and see what's going on locally with news and how we're countering, how fake news is being addressed," Bloomington-Normal resident Sean Henderson said.

Henderson said he has seen a spike in fake news on social media.

"I served some years in the military and I have people i served with passing along information that when I followed up on it i found out that it is fake news and i am concerned about the prevalence going on with fake news being spread," he said.

What is or is not fake news can be hard to pin-point for media consumers, but fact checking is key.

"It's just made me very analytical of everything i see. So when i see them i am asking myself the question, 'what's the source?' 'what happened before this?' so not just taking one story from one story and running with it," ISU graduate student Chinny Francis said.

"It is just a matter of going to all of the websites, making sure that you are finding out. There is nothing wrong with researching a story if you feel in your gut that surely that can't be right," Murphy said.

Though a topic of much debate, panelists agreed the notion of fake news impacts the national media more so than local outlets.


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