What To Do About the Truth and Fake News
It seems that we are in the midst of a great debate about truth. What can we do about it?
Note the article below that I found online and the two quotes from the article:
CNN online news article
Trump’s war on reality is truly baffling
By Nic Robertson, CNN
March 3, 2017
“Now, the Kremlin’s allies have turned their hackers, trolls and professional liars to destroying the credibility of news organizations abroad.”
“Over almost the past decade in Russia, this style of propaganda and its dissemination has become more sophisticated and prolific, making it harder to spot.”
The Kremlin’s efforts are clearly aimed at those sources of information (news services) that are telling us what is going on outside of our readily accessible environments. What is going on in the White House, for example, is not something that I have direct access to, and so “reporters” that have that access tell me what is going on from their perspective.
Russia, according to the article above, is attempting to “destroy the credibility” of some of those sources for information. Do I personally believe that what I currently read about White House activities and other reporting is true? In fact, did I ever believe that what those reporters told me was true?
My answer is no. I always thought that no matter how objective a reporter tries to be, they can never offer anything more than a perspective or conditional truth, i.e. their viewpoint.
As a result of that fundamental belief, for me the issue isn’t truth but diversity. In other words, the value of news for me lies in the diversity of perspectives that are offered. That’s because I am not seeking an idea to guide me, whether it claims to be true or not. I am guided by intuition, and intuition can be supported by awareness of lots of different perspectives, also known as lots of different news organizations and reporters.
Thus, the issue I have with Russia and Trump has to do with their efforts to reduce the number and diversity of lies that are out there, to the ones that they choose. Yes, I am being facetious and I really mean the number and diversity of perspectives.
Freedom of speech and freedom of the press was not stipulated as freedom of truthful speech in the constitution. Few people think that everything written in the National Enquirer is true and yet that publication is protected by the Constitution.
In describing the people that I typically address called Cultural Creatives, Paul Ray, PhD in his report, Report on the 2008 American Values Survey says,
In fact the Cultural Creatives are simply the best informed people. They take in more of every kind of information through all the media, and are more discriminating about it as a result.
Cultural Creatives take in more of every kind of information – not just true information.
If you like to read my blog then you probably align with at least some of the values of the group called, Cultural Creatives. And by the way, that group is growing according to a May 2016 blog in the Huffington Post that predicted continued growth in that market:
It is estimated that by 2020, the Cultural Creatives could be over half of the American population, and the numbers have grown significantly throughout Europe. There are literally hundreds of millions of CC’s across the globe. . . .
As a result of sharing the values of Cultural Creatives, you along with many others, probably value diverse viewpoints so you don’t like any effort to control what they say or limit your access to them.
Bottom line, I have two responses to questions around fake news: one, I want reporters who are not “friendly” to Trump be allowed into press conferences whether they write fake news or not; and two, the more important a particular subject is to me, the more useful I find researching diverse points of view, not in order to discover the truth, but in order to provide as many different perspectives as possible for my intuitive guidance.
Freedom of speech is not really about discovering what is true – it is about having access to unlimited ideas so that you are free to create (vote, associate with diverse people, travel where you want, and so forth) whatever aligns most authentically with who you are – at least that’s how I think about the news and its value to me.