We live in bizarro world when “Fake News Reporter” is a thing. CNN-Money is seriously hiring an investigative reporter to dig into and report on fake news.
We’re going to be examining the wave of “fake news” stories and the people behind them, but more than that we’re going to be looking at truth — what happened to it, why so many of us no longer believe it, and where those people are going to get their information instead.
Job posting: Senior Writer, CNN Media at Turner Broadcasting
You can’t be a slouch, you have to know your stuff. According to the listing, you have to “live on the Internet” whatever that means. You also must be fast to generate a story but determined to spend considerable time tracking these trends. You be obsessed with accuracy and apparently not be able to “pass by a single rabbit hole without being desperate to jump in to see where it leads.” The job entails doing what skeptics have been doing for decades – investigating hoaxes and untruths and debunking them, determining where it comes from and who is behind it, and how the media contributes to it.
Well, I already have a real job, so I won’t be applying. I also suspect this may be a fad that might fade out in a few years. Or be plowed under by the sheer volume of it all. Personally, I think whoever takes such a job might get burned out by the depravity of it all. You can only go down so many rabbit holes before you give up and stay there. But the main problem I see is the most insidious: by publicizing this topic, giving it increased attention, the networks may create all new opportunities for more of it. It becomes a commodity even more than it is now. (Or worse, people will start to believe it because it’s constantly discussed.) People make thousands of dollars a month off web sites promoting hoaxes and manufactured newz. Now CNN will be calling attention to them for more people to click? My drug dealer analogy bubbles up again.
I suppose there is a potential for this to be a good thing. They need to hire the right person and keep a narrow course with high standards and thought to what their ultimate goal is. I’m not sure I can see what that goal would be.
Thanks, Abbie, for the tip!
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