Viral Internet News May Not Be Reliable

Written by News Channel 2 on September 30, 2013. Posted in Homepage

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Did you know that, according to research-based company Gallup, Inc., 55% of Americans favor television newscasts over any other medium, and that, each night, television news broadcasts attract an average of 7-10 million viewers? Television, one of the most traditional media outlets, remains at large today. How are television newscasts keeping up, especially in a largely digital world?

Offering Dependability

According to Pew’s Project for Excellence in Journalism, 65% of young Americans, ages 18 to 29, depend on the web for news. What young generations may not realize, however, is that the immediacy and viral nature of internet news does not always coincide with reliability. Social media websites have perpetuated a number of fake headlines, some of the more notable ones predicting fake earthquakes, or claiming that, as of January 2010, American Airlines would begin flying doctors to Haiti for free, as long as they assisted with relief efforts. An American Airlines spokesman delivered a follow-up statement quelling rumors, “Last night’s hoax… about American and JetBlue flying doctors and nurses to Haiti for free was just that—a hoax. We don’t know who is responsible, but it’s a very low thing to do.”

Television broadcasts, including Atlanta Channel 2 News, Nashville News Channel 2, and Dayton New Channel 2, demand a certain level of accountability. In the event of misinformation, or the accidental spread of false news, viewers know exactly who to contact. According to Jason Fry, of the Poynter Institute, traditional media requires outlets to reveal “…what we’re sure we know and how we know it, acknowledge and assess things that we’re hearing, and provide constant updates and cautions that what we think we know is changing rapidly.”

Options, and Integrated News

Many people are of the mindset that television news organizations, and internet news, are pitted against each other. That is hardly the reality of the situation. In fact, some of the best internet news comes from television media groups. Atlanta Channel 2 News’ website, for example, offers some of the best world news, weather, traffic, sports, entertainment, community, and consumer coverage. The media outlet works hand-in-hand with the internet, allowing viewers to vote in news-based polls, or to follow them on Facebook and Twitter. The site also offers RSS syndication, easy mobile viewing, e-newsletters, and a handy search tool.

Contrary to popular belief, television news broadcasts and the web are not necessarily competing. True, viewers may initially rely on TV broadcasts for reliable news, but they can also go online to vote on polls, or search for more relevant headlines, using Atlanta Channel 2 News’ search tool.

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