Since President Donald Trump and his legion of enablers and supporters absolutely cannot stop themselves from referring to literally any media coverage they do not like as “fake news,” the Florida Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists is now attempting to trademark the phrase.
In an article posted to Teen Vogue, chapter president Emily Bloch explains the motive behind the new effort, and admits that they honestly don’t expect the trademark to get approved. “What we do hope is that this idea is outrageous enough to get people to stop and think about what fake news is, and what it means to them,” writes Bloch.
As the article points out, “fake news” isn’t news at all; it’s the absence of facts, sources and ethics. But surprisingly, a recent study shows that 40% of Republicans say any news story that is generally negative to any political group should “‘always’ be considered fake news.”
Obviously, this is a problem if just under half the U.S. population doesn't know how to properly digest what they read. And now physical threats to real journalists are on the rise.
“The grand irony in all this is something I worry the general public might not realize — namely, that journalists follow ethical codes and face losing our jobs and getting blacklisted by the industry if we so much as think about presenting ‘fake news.’ (Although, even these kinds of ethical standards have ways of being warped, as the president’s favorite news channel knows all too well),” adds Bloch.
The chapter also launched a new website to provide readers with the tools for identifying actual "fake news" (like always Google the headline and the author, and always check the links).
Most importantly, the SPJ chapter posted this amazing video:
“So yes, this is satire. It’s a joke,” writes Bloch. “But it’s a joke with a point, and as any student of public discourse will tell you, a joke sometimes hits harder than the truth. And if anyone accuses us of trolling the president, well, nothing else seems to work with him, so what do we have to lose?”
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.