From:  Ken Kalish

   Dated:  February 8, 2017

Subject:  German Church New Year's Fire

"…none of what you hear, nothing found on the Internet."  ( Encompasses both reading and hearing, adds the element of

viewing.) 

Ken 


    From:  Steve Sevits

   Dated:  February 7, 2017

Subject:  German Church New Year's Fire

Of course there are the rules of true journalism: any story more significant than a storm drain overflowing requires three separate, independent sources (unknown to each other) attesting to the same circumstances or facts.  At least that's what I was taught when I started in broadcast journalism, in the late 1950s. 
We were never allowed to speculate or falsify a document to "prove" what we "knew" was true (Dan Rather). 
Steve


    From:  Ken Kalish

   Dated:  February 9, 2017

Subject:  German Church New Year's Fire

Steve,

I generally agree with what you say   We differ at the point of “commentary.”   Debunking sensationalism is news in that a source of lies benefits when its lies are not exposed.  Truth is an essential element of reportage.  Where would we be without the team of Woodward and Bernstein exposing the media perception of Nixon (I am not a crook) and disproving the “alternate facts” published by competing media?  Exposing lies and propaganda is the definition of investigative journalism. 
Ken


    From:  Steve Sevits

   Dated:  February 7, 2017

Subject:  German Church New Year's Fire

One Internet report criticizing reporting on the church fire uses the phrase "...fake news, hate and propaganda..."  There is no such thing as "fake news," news either is or isn't.  "Fake news" is itself propaganda.  The difference is that the purpose of news is to inform whereas propaganda has as its goal to motivate or change opinion.  Using the terms "fake news" and propaganda in the same sentence is redundant, as they are the same.  
One always gets into a difficult position commenting on a previous report from another source, this is best left undone.  Someone else's story whether right or wrong is not news and to cite it is normally commentary which is distinct from the responsibility of reporting news. 
Steve


    From:  Jim White

   Dated:  February 7, 2017

Subject:  German Church New Year's Fire

Hi, 
Yesterday evening I was watching a Japanese NHK (roughly equivalent to the BBC) TV documentary on how a small fire at a church in Germany on New Year's Eve was reported on the internet. 
A local reporter at a small, local TV station went out to the town square, as he has done every New Year's Eve for a number of years to report on the crowd that gathers annually to celebrate the coming of the new year.  Fireworks were used during the celebration and some canvas covering up the some repair work being done on the church tower caught fire.  He included this in his story.  However....  His story was picked up by a variety of internet sources and perverted into a very strong "anti-Islam alternate fact."   The reporter's story must have had several thousand hits, but one of the "alternate fact" posting had 10's of thousands and another one had 100's of thousands of hits.   When the reporter posted a rebuttal to these "untruths," his posting got somewhat over 500 hits--no more. 
The attachment slows a list of some of the hits I got from entering "GERMANY   CHURCH   FIRE   NEW YEAR" into my browser.   All of you are free make your own decisions, but how many more people believe that the fire was started by a horde of "Hell-bent Arabs riding in on camels" versus those who believe that it was a rather innocently started and quickly extinguished accident. 
My Dad used to say: "Believe only half of what you see and none of what you here."   How should it be updated for today's media world? 
Jim W


    From:  Jim White

   Dated:  February 8, 2017

Subject:  German Church New Year's Fire

Character, 
I can't find a reference to "fake news"in my message (above) so I hereby declare my innocence.  Perhaps you are referring to one of the Internet reports I listed in the attachment--but I'm not going to take the time to look for it.  All the same, however, I do see some differences between "fake news" and "propaganda."   "Propaganda," as a word, has been a part of the English language for many decades if not centuries.  And, I usually think of it as something almost wholly fabricated from fiction.  "Fake news" (at least to me), appears to be fairly new and usually has at least a kernel of truth in it.  It is also closely related to the term "post facts" or "alternate facts."  Therefore, while using both terms in one sentence may be somewhat redundant, I don't think it is !00% redundant.  And, sometimes, redundancy is good. 
Your last paragraph leaves me a little confused.  I tried to "report" on the program I had seen as well as on what I found on the Internet backing up the programs assertions that the story had been greatly perverted.   The fact that a story--true or false--has been published in various versions sounds like "news" to me.   Also, the fact that NHK had taken up the topic in their program also sounds like "news" to me.  I tried not to comment on them to strongly and, left it up to others to believe what they wished to believe. 
Jim W 
PS: Please feel free to use my name if you are replying to something I wrote to the AFVN group or put on Facebook.  I am rather proud of my name and have never felt I had a need to hide it in any way.   Please do not try to teach me to be a reporter--I'm too old to even want to learn new tricks.  I posted what I posted because I know that many of our group are or have been reporters and I thought that some might find it interesting.


AFVN Group Conversations

    From:  Steve Sevits

   Dated:  February 8, 2017

Subject:  German Church New Year's Fire

There is no such thing as "fake news,"  just as there is no such thing as fake sunshine, fake water or fake news. 
The simplest test is whether the material seeks to inform or persuade.  A close examination of "fake news" shows it intends to change attitudes or beliefs (Dan Rather who faked the evidence to bolster a story he believed to be true). 
Steve 

FAKE NEWS 


“Fake News” is a new watchword in the media.  But is does such thing as “Fake News” actually exist?  Is there actually any such thing as “fake news” or is such actually propaganda? 
News is a recounting of facts, with no agenda other than to inform the public.  Something which is “Fake News,” by its very nature cannot be news. 
There are several forms of definable communication: News is recounting of factual in formation. Entertainment is for the purpose of amusing the target audience. White propaganda is a message, the source of which is accurately identified. “Using ABC Toothpaste will make your teeth whiter.”  Message from ABC Toothpaste Company.  Very frequently truthful. Grey propaganda might be unsigned graffiti like a swastika spray painted on a fence or building. Black propaganda is a message the authorship of which is deliberately mis-identified.  This could be true or deceptive. 
Any message “fake news” which has as its goal to influence rather than inform is propaganda. 
The iron clad test clearly showing the difference between news and “fake news” is whether the message intends to inform (news) or attempts to change the attitude of the target audience.  The latter is “fake news,” which is more rightly termed propaganda.  By asking ones self whether the message is intended to inform or influence, the difference between news and propaganda is easily determined.  If the message is not news it is likely “fake news,” which is more correctly identified as propaganda.  Changing propaganda and calling it "fake news" does not change its nature or character.

Color and bold face are as in the original message.  Webmaster


    From:  Steve Sevits

   Dated:  February 8, 2017

Subject:  German Church New Year's Fire

Gee,  when I started the watchwords were integrity, honesty and accuracy - maybe that's why I never made it in journalism and wound up selling used cars?  Although I did get along with Nixon during coverage of the 1960 campaign. 
Steve


Misinformation

(German Church New Year's Fire)

February 2017

    From:  Jim White

   Dated:  February 10, 2017

Subject:  More on Fake News

I had really planned to say no more about this topic, but the attached article is from today's Stars & Stripes and I  thought that some of you might find it interesting. 
Jim W

Not all items fit under "fake news" umbrella 

(Stars & Stripes for February 10, 2017)