News is a crucial element in communication, providing citizens with information that allows them to make decisions about their lives, who they put their trust into running their communities & their countries, and whether to keep a look out at night for potential harm or danger. When journalists present false stories and quotes that are fabricated, as seen in sports journalism, or is given misleading information, this leads to the production of false new and may have a significant impact on citizens in their decision and opinion making.
Although their is the satirical content that sometimes tricks the media into believing and reporting the content as ‘news’, such as the selfie shoe or Barack Obama on the magazine cover of Tiger Beat, there have been several cases of false quotes and sometimes false interviews held. These situations often affect the reputation of news outlets, and with social media integrating into society, often lead to those reporting the news as the ‘butt’ of the joke.
A recent example is KTVU and the Asiana flight 214 disaster, which in most parts, seemed to be mocking the television station for falling for the misleading information. This became an important lesson for journalists around the world to double check any information or rumours gathered.
Journalists may not only receive false information but also create it. Stephen Glass is considered the most infamous journalist fraud in modern journalism, in which Glass had fabricated stories, quotes and sources. This lead to the removing of 27 out of 41 of his news articles from New Republic. The stories published by New Republic and Glass could have easily influenced readers, and ultimately altered & influence readers opinions and decisions.
The fabrication of stories and quotes, as well as trusting unreliable sources, has become a enormous issue in journalism, and can have a big impact on the way citizens interact with society and their decision making.