“Burden of fact-checking is shifted from journo [sic] to consumer makes more savvy consumer.” This is from a Tweet by Tyler Riggs. I’m wondering why and when this shifted from journalist to consumer?

In theory what he is suggesting is correct. It will make for more savvy consumers if the consumers actually check the facts. People for the most part will believe what they read in the paper or on the Internet, see on TV, or hear on the radio talk shows. Or even be made aware of by their circle friends. It is human nature. If they saw it in X, Y, or Z, or so and so on TV said it then it must be valid. And if people wanted to check the facts, then where do they go to validate the facts? Government? Company websites? Library? Friends? Family? While, the Internet has made more sources available to the average person, how reliable are these sources? A lot of what is found on the Internet is undocumented rubbish. So how do you validate the facts?

My other question is what does that statement mean for the journalist? A journalist by definition is someone who professionally collects and disseminates information about current events, people, trends, and issues. I find it interesting that the definitions I’ve seen mention nothing about ethics and unbiased news collecting and reporting.
So has everyone been assuming all this time that journalism and journalists are neutral? Everyone has a bias and we all wear different lenses through which we see the world. It is important that the consumer filters the information. Not just drinking straight from the well of print and electronic media. Know the source as well as the packaging.
So are journalists different from public relations and marketing professionals? As a PR professional, I collect and disseminate information on current events, people, trends, and issues. I publish content on my blog and website. We both make an effort to ensure there is a free flow of information, giving the opportunity for consumers to make up their own mind. When it is all said and done, it comes down to whom the consumer trusts. Regardless of where it comes from.

I don’t have answers to these questions, but they are worth thinking about.

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