Dig deeper, use context to combat fake news, journalists urge Thomasians

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Philippine Star Online Editor Matikas Santos said readers must be aware of the issues to determine what’s factual in any information found online. Photo by Deejae S. Dumlao

JOURNALISTS from the Philippine Star urged Thomasians on Monday to “dig deeper” and study the context of relevant issues to avoid falling for fake news.

Vberni Regalado, social media head of the Philippine Star, highlighted the importance of context in verifying the information found on social media sites.

“Anyone can go viral nowadays just with a single photo [or] video. Ang daling mag-viral ngayon without even going back to the basics of journalism which is context,” Regalado said in a forum at the Civil Law auditorium.

“Just because it’s popular doesn’t mean it’s reliable,” he added.

Readers must be aware of the issues to determine what’s factual in any information found online, Matikas Santos, online editor of the Philippine Star,said.

“[If] you don’t know what’s true then you are likely to believe in the fake,” Santos said.

‘Personal bias’

Philippine Star reporter Janvic Mateo urged readers to set aside their “personal biases” and fact-check the news on social media.

Mateo underscored the critical role of objectivity in verifying information disseminated online.

“It’s easy for us to get alarmed with all the information that we see because we have our own personal biases. [We] should know what information is credible enough to actually believe [and] trust [in] before sharing any information,” he said.

People should not compromise accuracy in publishing stories online despite the immediacy that the digital age of media demands, Regalado said.

“Because most of the time, people sacrifice accuracy for speed and I would rather sacrifice speed for accuracy,” he said.

The forum, titled “How Press Works: The real story behind fake news” was hosted by The Flame, the official student publication of the UST Faculty of Arts and Letters.

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