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January 3, 2017

Fake or Faux News, Delightful

Harry M. Covert

The so-called public debate regarding fake news is a lot of baloney. Facts are simple to understand. Consider that faux news is a public relations professionals' delight.


Writers and news gatherers in these days of enlightenment, depending on real and true sources, most often from unidentified, unhappy public employees and officials who like to get even with somebody. It works, too.


This is not new.


Almost every public agency takes advantage of a public information officer, public relations (PR) consultant, or some other person tabbed, maybe, as a consultant.


The big girls and boys of government and businesses of all sorts also take advantage of those who know how to deal with media of all kinds.


Lots of entertainment personages have press agents. These people are mighty good. Lumped all together, they do a grand job creating public images, developing product and people goodies.


To many newspaper and other media reporters, the business of shilling is a lucrative enterprise. Lots of fun, too. Look at the booming athletic and political fields. The more PR, and the more incredible amounts of money.


While critics like to espouse the faux news business so popular, such news isn't really new. It's been going on forever in the free press. Editors, publishers and other media purveyors are always under attack. Printing and broadcasting facts effecting everybody is a dangerous activity. But, it is fun.


Press agents make no bones about contacting reporters and columnists. That's their job no matter official titles – get the good stuff in the news and keep the bad and unpleasant tidbits quiet. It's done all the time. No sense thinking it isn't.


So many people are confused today as to what is advocate journalism compared to real honest-to-goodness reportage. Now there's the cloud. Consider the perspectives. That's where the fake and faux get in the way.


There are lots of vicious comments these days about reporters. More often than not, staff writers, editorialists, city editors, managing editors and broadcast news producers are often threatened. Polls like to report that the media of today is lower than a snake's belly, below that of politicians at all levels, under that of television gabbers. What an honor!


Lots of wordsmiths leave their esteemed profession of fact finders for the lure of high paydays of what's called marketing. Can't blame them.


What galls so many of the alleged virtuous is seeing or hearing "truthful facts."


It is human nature and "gotcha" fun to know unpleasant and hurtful news about people of all types and classes.


Leaping into these early days of 2017, the news business is going to be hopping. So many interesting events are at the ready. Why else do readers scan front pages, police blotters, sports pages, read online Internet journals?


Why do advertisers spend thousands to promote their wares? Answers are easy.


News consumers need to know. Like millions and millions, it's fun – that word again – to peer into world events and learn about the good, the bad, the ugly, the genius, the smart, the fuzzy and the accomplished.


News providers, it must be said, have a celestial duty. There is always The Big Story. Everybody loves to see their names spelled correctly.


Now, the clarion call – tell it, write it.


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