Post-truth Age?

“Post-truth” is Oxford Dictionaries’ word of the year for 2016.

Post-truth means circumstances where “objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.”

The growth of a post-truth environment is heightened by the speed with which digital media can ramp up emotions with misleading information.

More than a few conservative and liberal media sites stretch the truth or bury it. The Seattle Times columnist, Danny Westneat, wrote about his city’s Bipartisan Report, which Westneat named a “click bait” site for liberals.

In response, the site founder said he was only following the successful formula used by Fox News. “What Fox does is accurate to a point. It’s based on facts and reporting, but, at the same time it’s giving people only the parts they want to hear. .. it’s not lying, but it’s leaving out critical information.”

The choice is ours. Plenty of news outlets lean conservative or liberal (usually within their acknowledged opinion pieces) without reporting dodgy news stories. We have a choice between reputable news sites or entertainment that stokes our prejudices.

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