We have been reading and hearing a lot in recent months about “fake news”—false, biased, inaccurate, untrustworthy information, packaged to look like real news. We see it on Facebook and Twitter and other social media sites, on websites, our cellphones, in Google searches. It has seemingly become ubiquitous.
We should all be deeply worried about the proliferation of “fake news” because many people can’t spot it when they see it. They are fooled into believing false information to be true, especially when it appears at the top of a Google search. I believe that is very dangerous.
Think about what could happen if our society began to make decisions based upon misinformation. If you want to think big, think about what will happen to our democracy if American citizens rely upon lies, rumors and gossip instead of accurate facts. Citizens without facts cannot possibly make sound decisions, whether they are voting or participating in their towns, schools or communities.
My company, Anton Media Group, publishes 16 weekly community newspapers, as well as magazines, specialty publications and websites throughout towns on Long Island, all while utilizing thoughtful, high-quality journalistic practices.
These publications, some of which date back to the 1800s, have a commitment to deliver trusted and relevant content to the communities that they serve. I firmly believe that what we do is very important—maybe more important now than ever before. Thousands of Long Island residents receive news about their neighborhoods, schools, local government activities, crime and local events from our papers, and our coverage is comprehensive, well-reported and fair.
Weekly deadlines are difficult and challenging. Some may not be happy with the information that is reported; you may not sleep much on production night, and keeping track of hundreds of pages of content can be tricky. Yet, what we do is rewarding knowing that we deliver something of great importance to the lives of our loyal readers and those communities we’ve served these many years. Truthful, well-reported stories are essential to making sure that people are informed and that institutions are accountable.
—Angela Susan Anton
Publisher, Anton Media Group