I completely disagree with (Nikki) Usher-Layser’s contention
that “the selection of news and information about the world
since the dawn of the modern age of news has always been a
black box.” (Fall 2016 Forum)
To make a comparison of social media algorithms with
true journalism is absolutely naive and over-simplistic. Not
knowing what stories were left out of a news report or why
articles were selected is not the same thing at all as the “black
box” of algorithms! True journalism is about finding the truth
and presenting an unbiased report. There’s so much news
out there, but YOU can read the news from reputable news
sources that have true reporting. The choice is yours on what
you will consume.
You could point to Fox News as an example that would
be a comparison to black box algorithms, but that isn’t true
news. It’s a propaganda channel, and people who watch Fox
News choose to watch a “news” channel that feeds them
misinformation and bias, because that’s what they wanted to
hear — or had to hear — to reaffirm their own worldview.
I have nothing against social media or the algorithms that
Facebook uses. But Facebook is quite different than traditional
media. Individuals need to get their news/information — real
facts from true reporting — from other channels. They need
to read articles that are factual so they can actually form their
own opinions. Not get all of their “news” and information
from channels that feed their own biases.
ALLISON KING, MS, MBA
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Correction: In the Member News section of the winter Forum, T. Dwayne McCay was listed as the president of Florida International University. He is the
president of the Florida Institute of Technology. The Forum regrets the error.