Posted tagged ‘fact-checking’

The Facts, Ma’am

May 2, 2013

britannicaWhen I was a kid … eons ago … if I had to do research for a paper, I had two choices.  Fortunately, my parents had provided us with an Encyclopedia Britannica (with annual yearbooks) which was Option One.  But if the subject was really esoteric or required more depth than Britannica provided, Option Two was a trip to the East Haven Library.  As I got older, a trip to the main library in New Haven might have been warranted.  These days, research is at my finger tips on my smartphone or my tablet or even my laptop if I’m near public wi-fi.  What I can learn about a subject in half an hour would have consumed days back in the 1960s.   And yet, with all this information at our disposal, our online experience isjust the facts populated with opinion posing as reporting, advertising for products with ludicrous claims, and hoaxes propagated as if they are real news.   Posters on Facebook and message boards are willing to take any scrap of misinformation that they find and run with it if it supports their opinion.  With all the information we have our disposal, we seem to have lost the ability … or the desire … to, as Jack Webb used to say on Dragnet, find just The Facts, Ma’am. (more…)