STEM-based disciplines have standards. Doctors need a licence to practice. You have certain rigours…and even then, there are problems in those industries.
Now, journalism, which is sloppy and undisciplined, has none of that.
Fact-checking is in the same boat.
Zero standards. No structure or methods, but people think that “fact-check” means something.
Vanity Fair is musing about the limitations of “fact-checking”, but in such a rambling way, that it is a meaningless piece.
But as it comes from journalists, we can expect nothing else.
We have CNN’s Brian Stelter lecturing people not to, as the Globe and Mail reported, “let themselves be distracted by the fog of misinformation being spread by the Trump White House.”
The trouble is journalists themselves have created a bigger fog of misinformation, not just through reporting outright lies and propaganda over the years, but through the very structures of their narratives.
This eroded public trust and has made the flow of information vulnerable. In Australia, proposals to changes the national security laws will see journalists in jail for twenty years if they report on information the government wants hidden.
But only now does someone in the dead profession question the state of journalism, in Esquire, of all places: wondering why pundits get posh positions when they know nothing — and why once mighty newspapers are filing for bankruptcy.
You are asking this now?
I have been asking these questions for the last two decades.
We have no real journalism on this planet. None.
We have no real system of fact-checking. Period.
And deep down, we all know this to be true, but we are too scared of reality to face it.
Not everyone. Someone of us are more than ready to do something else, but as long as people in a dead profession are in denial, they are just making matters for civilization worse by the second.