Accuracy in Independent Media

With all the bias and censorship of mainstream media, it may seem that independent media is a better, more reliable choice. It’s more transparent than most big corporations are and it often covers stories that are not even referenced by better known companies. However, independent media is not always better. Ethics are a major issue with non-professional journalists, and for writers with no editors or bosses to answer to, some stories might be covered unfairly, inaccurately or just plain fabricated.

One such independent journalist who has been known to stretch the truth or skew facts is Matt Drudge of the Drudge Report. Drudge himself claims that his reports are only 80 percent accurate. You don’t need me to tell you that this means that 20 percent of his reports are inaccurate. Think about that. Would you trust a journalist who blatantly states that some of his articles are not true? A great deal of his big banner stories or “DRUDGE EXCLUSIVES” are completely false. Upon tracking his stories in 1998, Brill’s Content found that 20 of the 51 exclusives were not actually exclusive, but were previously featured in mainstream news. Of the remaining 31, 10 stories were impossible to verify, 10 were blatantly false and indeed never happened, and only 11 were true.

Drudge continues to fabricate stories and mislead readers. A few of his most notable hoaxes were his stories about President Clinton’s aide, Clinton himself, John Kerry, and John McCain. But aside from these memorable “exclusives,” Drudge continues to mislead his readers regularly. In 2012, Think Progress posted a collection of 10 fake stories that Drudge had written just within the year.

So readers, don’t be so quick to believe something just because it’s in the news. Whether it’s mainstream or independent, there’s always a chance it could be complete and utter bullshit. Don’t be afraid to check the facts for yourselves.

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