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In a Perfect World

September 26th, 2013

Currently debunked at Snopes:

Article headline: Fox News classified satire by FCC written by Sarah Wood. States that Fox News will now have to run a disclaimer across the bottom of the screen stating “This is not a valid new source”. Is this true?

Indicative of how screwed up our world is, satire makes eminently more sense than reality. The satirical article specifies:

A statement put out by the FCC says, “The decision to classify Fox News as satire has come after several years of evaluation regarding the sources of their reporting and the bias of their programming. While much of their content is based on legitimate news, it is spun is a way that cannot not be deemed newsworthy to the viewing public. If Fox News so chooses to report actual news stories of legitimacy without skewing the content we may overturn our decision and reclassify the network to a valid news source once again.”

One can be assured that the FCC does not have the authority to do any such thing.

The thing is, there should be some group, somewhere, doing exactly that.

I have always believed that there should be a strictly non-partisan, independently-funded journalism ratings organization which sets several standards of responsible journalism—one which tracks accuracy, use of identified and reliable sources, relevance of news stories, use of objective language, clarity, etc.—and uses that data to rate everything from individual journalists to entire news organizations.

The freedom of the press was established as a primary right for the purpose of ensuring a well-informed electorate, one which would then be able to make informed decisions when casting votes. That system is now virtually destroyed, in large part because of Fox News and organizations like it. Something needs to be done to reverse that trend.

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