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Are your sources of news reliable and trustworthy?



“Information is only as reliable as the people who are receiving it. If readers do not change or improve their ability to seek out and identify reliable information sources, the information environment will not improve,” says Julia Koller, a learning solutions lead developer at Pew Research Center.

In today’s world, getting news from a trustworthy and reliable source is like finding a talented and hardworking student from a large group of other students in the batch. If the media does not have the news to present for their shows in broadcast and television, then the news is created. That is why fact checking becomes an important part before believing any news to be true. Today’s news is more of an opinionated news which is missing on-ground reporting and investigative journalism.

Instead of providing noiseless news based upon true facts, the news being presented is sensationalised to its full extent with an intention to attract the eyeballs of viewers in broadcast and digital media. Same with the readers in print media.

“Right now, there is an incentive to spread fake news. It is profitable to do so, profit made by creating an article that causes enough outrage that advertising money will follow. In order to reduce the spread of fake news, we must de-incentivise it financially,” says Amber Case, research fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society.

But de-incentivising the spread of fake news is a myth, as it disallows the sensationalism resulting in decrease in the viewership of a media channel or readership. And that further leads to a drop in revenues and profits. That is why these all proprietary companies care less about journalism.

“When you exist in this kind of business model, the first thing that goes out of the window is journalism.” This was once mentioned by the Founding Editor of The Wire, Siddharth Varadarajan.

Coming together of a broader trend that have adversely affected the independence and integrity of the news industry are allowing other external factors in shaping and determining the agenda of the media. Whatever goes on in a newspaper or a channel reflects the interest of the rich and powerful in the society and this is the crisis in a nutshell for Indian journalism.

This is increasing the unviability of the existing business model as the move to digital reading habits further undermines the revenue base for all but the biggest media players.  

Some of the powerful media groups are, Network 18, The Times Internet, The Republic, Zee, India Today, The Hindu, The Indian Express, among others. All these media entities are delivering news through different mediums – print, broadcast and digital.

The way the news is delivered and consumed on these three different mediums is different. Like print gives detailed analysis but only in the written format, broadcast gives audio-visual information and digital gives the both – the written and audio-visual. The advantage lies with the digital news as it is the most affordable, accessible medium for consuming news which gives instant news with instant updates meant for fast readers and fast movers. Any breaking news gets first updated on digital media usually, then in television and at last in the print as print follows a 24 hour cycle.

I myself use all three mediums to consume news dominated by digital as a medium. I follow a lot of media channels and make a deep analysis after watching or reading the same story reported or written by different media outlets.

I follow NDTV, The Print, The Scroll, India Today, The Republic, Hindustan Times, The Hindu, The Indian Express, The Outlook, Go News for all types of news. I also focus on the news delivered by The Wire and The Quint.

As I also have a keen interest in Business Journalism, some of the financial channels I follow are Moneycontrol, CNBCTV18, The Economic Times, The Financial Times, Business Standard, BQ Prime, Financial Express, The Hindu Business Line, Zee Business, Live Mint, Business Today, etc. 

Along with the above, TV9 Marathi, ABP Majha and many more local channels such as In Solapur are also a part of my subscription. For international news, I follow BBC News, The Wion, CNBC, Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal, and Reuters.

And also, apart from just subscribing to media channels for news, I have subscribed to Alt news for the purpose of fact checking.