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Social Media and Attacks on Traditional, Investigative Journalism

Once upon a time, we received news in traditional formats from finite media sources by way of newspapers, television, and radio. And the news we received from those sources did not vary tremendously one from another. The news just seemed to be the news. As Walter Cronkite closed on his CBS nightly newscast, “And that’s the way it is” — in essence meaning, “Those are the facts.”

Times plainly have changed. There are many sources of news. People can choose a news outlet that suits their own political preferences. For example, for someone of a conservative, Republican persuasion, Fox News might be the news outlet of choice. Fox tends to present the news more in line with that end of the political spectrum. And, of course, there are other news outlets that favor the liberal, Democrat end of the political spectrum. So what are the “facts” when the reporting of the same events can be interpreted very differently?

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