Opinion

Letters to the editor

file photo.

file photo.

Our readers write about 'fake news' and about the column titled “Trudeau, Ivanka enable madness of populism”.

Fake news indeed

Re: Postmedia’s editorial on fake news and Peggy White’s recent column.

Purveyors of news have the arduous task to deliver accurate and timely knowledge of current events.

Over the past few decades, we’ve seen a change in the “delivery” of news. The basic five Ws have been altered to accommodate “opinion” and news has taken on a distinct flavour of political bias. News has become a commodity, an avenue through which to survive but, moreover, the ability to sway public opinion.

Publicly-funded state broadcasters will slant news items in favour of any political party that generously funds them. Private news sources will typically follow the money, hence advertising dollars and prosperity.

Such altering of news delivery has been the catalyst for the term “fake news.” The conjuring of issues, the persistent hammering on baseless topics and the use of factoids and truthiness have all played a role. News outlets going to war with one faction’s so-called nefarious deeds, while totally ignoring blatant violations by the other faction, is merely the bully pulpit in it’s purest form.

Referencing the terms “a majority of scientists” or “a panel of experts” and “a body of evidence” without substance or proof has bluffed the public confidence away from hard news with real facts and truths. This egregious behaviour sways public opinion en masse and can alter societal values and affect the ballot box. This is where it gets dangerous.

In the court of public opinion, free speech itself is under fire. People are ridiculed and shamed because they voiced an opinion contrary to such politically correct group-think, regardless of whether said opinion has a basis in fact. It seems the truth and facts don’t matter much anymore, only popular consensus.

I would advise any reader/viewer to broaden their scope of news sources, allowing credence to more sides of the argument. Today’s news should be taken with many grains of salt and the public should be allowed to make up their own minds on any issue, instead of being told what to think.

William Morgan

Welland

Reading column was madness

Regarding Shannon Gormley’s column “Trudeau, Ivanka enable madness of populism” (March 20).

I found the real madness came from trying not to get lost in her run-on sentences. I counted some with 32, 35, 41 and 43 words in them. However, it could just be me. Perhaps I should have taken a university degree in English comprehension instead of science.

Doug Morrow

London, Ont.



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