Last Thursday the newspaper El Nacional published a very important story by mistakenly substituting the photograph of Donald Trump for that of the comedian and impersonator Alec Baldwin. The slip, which went unnoticed by many, went viral and was commented on by major publications such as the NY Times, Huffington Post, El Clarín, El País, Mashable, The Guardian, BBC News and, until recent Monday, the television program Good Morning America.
There was some confusion due to the announcement of Alec Baldwin’s appearance on Saturday Night Live #SNL this past weekend. El Nacional issued an explanatory note apologizing. An error happens to anyone, but the accident is propitious to reflect on the handling of information not only in traditional media but also in social media.
For several weeks the issue of the veracity and reliability of the media has been questioned. President Trump himself has expressed his disagreement with the way in which the media covers the news of his government and has insisted that some members of the press manipulate the truth.
In turn, Facebook, Google and a media group launched an initiative to tackle fake news. These changes came after they faced backlash and criticism over the role their various platforms played in the US presidential election in allowing the spread of false and often malicious information that could have influenced the results. of process. Facebook went further by joining the Poynter Institute, a global leader in journalism, to launch The Facebook Journalism Project initiative, with a view to providing training, certification and awareness on the use of technological tools and information.
Information abounds in our country, added to the prevailing desire and need of the Dominican to give his opinion and pretend to know everything, makes it more complicated. Thus we see, especially in social media, information mixed with opinions, using the former to promote points of view that are sometimes biased or unsupported. We give it as Good and Valid because he said so-and-so, without verifying or documenting the real facts. We transfer information without control and we adorn it with our perceptions; Like the telephone game, the lie spreads like dengue, and when repeated many times it becomes reality. We use these media to promote our particular point of view, skewing the news to promote (consciously or unconsciously) our personal ideas.
If we want ethical, upright and unbiased journalists, we must be more critical, analytical and responsible readers in handling the information that reaches our hands.
Author: Lara Guerrero