By Christopher Schasser
“Fake news” is a term that has been coined recently. If some news is in fact fake, where do people get their news from? And who do they trust?
Gallup gathers data on the population through polling and a poll in June found that Americans believe 62 percent of news they receive on television, radio and print is biased and that 44 percent is inaccurate.
Steven Lynch, 56, a student at Grand Rapids Community College says he gets his news from online versions of newspapers as opposed to the ever growing platform of social media.
“I just don’t have any interest in Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, whatever,” Lynch stated in an email to The Collegiate.
In the email, Lynch went on to describe the variety of sources he gets his news from including The Guardian, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Grand Rapids Press. He also listens to radio programming such as NPR and watches the local news.
“So I get a fairly broad spectrum of news sources,” Lynch stated. “But ultimately, I prefer my news curated by editors not algorithms.”
Noah Williams, 21, also a GRCC student, has different methods of getting his news. Some may even consider it unique.
“I get most of my news from independent or anti-establishment journalists and political commentators who I find on YouTube and also have a presence on other platforms,” Williams stated in an email to The Collegiate. “A few examples on the journalism side would be Tim Pool, Coleman Hughes, Matt Taibbi or Chris Hedges.
“For political commentary, I tend to turn to Dave Rubin, Kyle Kulinski or a number of smaller channels that cater to fringe beliefs. Quillette is probably my favorite online journal, though The Atlantic is also on my radar.”
With public trust in the press being at a low, it is only conceivable that people would put their trust in a select few sources. Williams listed his trusted news mediums.
“I tend to have greater faith in authors or publications with a disclosed bias over those who claim to possess no bias,” Williams stated. “However, to get past political theater on a hot button issue, I like to read or listen to the widest range of opinions on a topic.”
Thomas Rutka Jr, an 18-year-old GRCC student, also indicated that he gets his news from more than one medium. He stated in an email that it is important to him to get a variety of opinions so that he can form his own opinion.
“I believe it is important because I gain a plethora of information from each source,” Rutka stated. “I also pick apart the information given to me from each source, allowing me to form my own opinion on the topic at hand as well as what information is relevant/credible.”
Cut – Yet another GRCC student respondent Lilia Bakker, 20, says she gets her news from all types of mediums. However, she has a go-to source that she trusts the most to get her news from.
“I trust The Washington Post because they are sort of an outside TV news source,” Bakker said.
Williams gets most of his news online. He clarified exactly what online sources he uses.
With such a reliance today on social media for passing of information, Williams made it clear why he does not trust it as a platform to get his news from.
“I believe the reliance of social media on ad revenue creates economic incentive to distort the truth and prioritize traffic over accuracy or nuance,” he stated.
The Collegiate conducted a survey that included both students and non students. With such controversy about news and the term “fake news” being used regularly, we thought it would be interesting to see where people get their news from and who they trust. So far with 12 respondents, here are the results: