Journalism, fake news and the dying art of fact checking

01/04/2017 (Al Arabiya News – UAE by Ehtesham Shahid*): “Believe 100 percent of what you see, 50 percent of what you read, and zero percent of what you hear”. This cardinal rule of journalism – drilled down by a wise trainer at Mumbai University years ago – should be on the checklist of any news desk. Unfortunately, this isn’t how it is done any more. The deluge of information and constant drive to beat the competition often leads to stories being cooked up by activists, apologists and even journalists. They make it to social media – the new laboratory of social discourse – and passed on as fact until the real facts are discovered. Several recent incidents come to mind. A young Muslim girl in India was hounded recently for singing a Hindu devotional song. Some Muslim clerics issued statements against her. Subsequently it has been reported that as many as 45 Muslim clerics issued a fatwa on the issue…

*Ehtesham Shahid is Managing Editor at Al Arabiya English.




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