When Donald J. Trump was informed that his inauguration speech was attended by far fewer people than Obama’s he claimed that it is all “fake news”. And even now, two years later the President continues to accuse the press of lying and even doesn´t hesitate to call the whole mainstream media “the enemy of the people.” That mindset is the reason why he creates his own news feed using Twitter to present alternative facts which often are in direct contradiction to proven pieces of evidence.
Firing his tweets several times a day the President of the United States demonstrates in an unprecedented way that today everybody can create his own reality. And many have followed his example and they post their personal thoughts in numerous blogs, on facebook or youtube neglecting the facts and presenting their crude ideas as the only truth.
But that is not how media should work! No media station, not even a private news channel should send unchecked stories, should mix conspiracy theories with proven facts. There are certain rules of quality to follow!
The participating students of our Indo-German exchange should learn these rules during our project. By talking to professional journalists and by visiting radio stations they should get to know the standards of an exacting investigation and the need for digging deep into a story before publishing false facts.
But only watching the media people is not enough. During the exchange, the students get the chance to create their own media too. Guided by journalists and reporters the children will attend workshops for creative writing and will publish articles about the trip. These professionals will also teach them about data privacy and about the need to ask people before publishing their pictures online.
Additionally, in a big movie studio, the German and Indian students even will make a small movie about the role of media in contemporary times. While doing that they will always have to question themselves whether they really fulfill the wanted standards of good media or whether they also only present false facts misguiding the consumer of
This year’s exchange named “Media Rules!” is
If one doesn’t understand this and if one can’t tell the real “fake news” from the truth, demagogues will win the crowd and the unadulterated truth will never be heard.