“The journalists of today’s era have to be the gatekeepers of the society; gatekeepers to protect it from the influence of fake and incorrect news,” said senior journalist, Karma Paljor in Itanagar of Arunachal Pradesh on Thursday.
Paljor who was addressing a media workshop on the theme ‘Fake News and Rise of Digital and Mobile Journalism’ at the Dorjee Khandu Convention Centre in Itanagar said that, fake news has not only become a primary concern for the major countries of the world but also a big predicament for tech powerhouses like Google and Facebook.
“As journalists we need to flag fake news and stand against it in a united way. Fake news stories are more tempting for the normal public to share so we have to play the gate-keeping role that the legacy media houses once played,” said Paljor who was the resource person for the workshop.
Gate-keeping as a theory is the news selection and extraction of news, which then gets passed through a series of gates (the journalists), gets transformed and ends up in the news.
Acknowledging that the biggest factor behind the success of fake news stories is their high level of social engagement, Paljor said that one of the main concerns of fake news is that they can polarize the society, especially during political events and elections.
Citing example of the mob lynching that took place in Assam in the month on June this year where two youths lost their lives following the circulation of fake news in WhatsApp, Paljor said that journalists, as well as the normal public can easily identify a fake story by using mere common sense.
“Identifying fake news is easy most of the times as all you need is a critical mindset. Check the credibility of the source from where the news has been published or shared; verify the names/designation of the people who have been quoted in the news,” said Paljor.
Speaking on the topic ‘Rise of Digital and Mobile Journalism,’ Paljor, who himself is an award-winning journalist, informed that people, particularly the youths of today’s generation are spending more time on internet than ever before.