Until the mid 1970s my dear old Dad worked for the right wing British newspaper, The Daily Express. This might lead contemporary readers to conclude he was a right wing conservative. On the contrary, like most of his colleagues he was very liberal in his politics.
“Why did they work for a right wing newspaper then?” modern liberals might well ask. It’s very simple really, they had families to feed and clothe, they had to pay rent or mortgage to keep a roof over their heads and they had to keep themselves supplied with rather disreputable looking raincoats and trilby hats.
Dad told me in the early 1960s, when I was becoming old enough to understand, that everything in newspapers or on television or radio news should be questioned. “It is not fabricated,” he’d say, it just represents a point of view the editor thinks will appeal to people who buy the paper.
Most of the news community in the area he covered, like Dad, had as younger men supported The Laour Party, Britain’s socialist party but being in the news industry were aware that many of the party’s senior figures had, in the 1930s, though Britain should be making alliance with a certain Mr. Hitler. It was a dirty little secret not widely known among the public.
I mention this to illustrate how silly the current obsession with indentity politics is. While I suspect that what is written or said about election meddling by Russia or whoever is nothing but propaganda, most of what is labelled ‘fake news’ is simply news reported from a perspective that people of a certain political position disagree with. It applies to both sides.
But as the article above reminds us, news publishers and broadcasters are in business to make a profit and sensation sells.