Archived Opinion

FOX not on list of reliable news sources

FOX not on list of reliable news sources

To the Editor:

Forbes magazine caters to the millionaires, billionaires, and Wall Street types whose fortunes depend on accurate information. On February 1, 2017, Forbes published an article called “10 Journalism Brands Where You Find Real Facts Rather Than Alternative Facts.”  

The author of the article, Paul Glader, states “One key question for any publication is this: If a reporter gets facts in a story wrong, will the news outlet investigate a complaint and publish a correction? Does the publication have its own code of ethics? Or does it subscribe to and endorse the Society of Professional Journalist’s code of ethics? And if a reporter or editor seriously violates ethical codes — such as being a blatant or serial plagiarizer, fabulist or exaggerator — will they be fired at a given news outlet? While some may criticize mainstream media outlets for a variety of sins, top outlets such as the Washington Post, the New York Times, NBC News and the New Republic have fired journalists for such ethics violations.”

The article then goes on to list the top reliable news sources, and why each was chosen. In order, they are: The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, BBC, The Economist, The New Yorker, Wire Services (The Associated Press, Reuters, Bloomberg News), Foreign Affairs, The Atlantic, and Politico.

For runners up, he listed National Public Radio, TIME magazine, The Christian Science Monitor, The Los Angeles Times (and many other regional, metropolitan daily newspapers), USA Today, CNN, NBC News, CBS News, and ABC News.

Notice anything missing? How about the No. 1 watched source of information in the U.S., Fox News?

In January of this year, Fox delivered “an average total prime time audience of 2.9 million viewers,” and FNC shows “Hannity,” “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” “The Ingraham Angle” and“ Fox News at Night” all had their best January ratings in history,” according to the Forbes article “‘We Passed CNN … And Never Looked Back’: Fox News Hits 18 Years At #1.”

What does it say about this country when the most popular news source doesn’t make it into the top 29 reliable news sources? That tells me that millions of Americans are misinformed. Our democratic republic relies on informed citizen voters, and Fox is leading us astray.

If you want to actually know what is going on in the world, read news articles from reliable sources. If you want to continue to have your biases confirmed and be manipulated, watch Fox and the other biased sources. They are spoon-feeding their audience cherry-picked stories with cherry-picked facts, often out of context, denying the audience the full story. If you rely on Fox or similar sources, you aren’t getting all the facts, and often getting a lot of spin.

If you want to be credible, cite sources that are reliable, not propaganda machines. “Rumor has it” may be a great band name, but it is lousy for persuading intelligent people. When in doubt, check it on Snopes.

Dan Kowal


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