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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

Meet the Staff
Molly Birch
Molly Birch
Editor-In-Chief

My name is Molly, and I am in my second year at NMU. I come from Midland, MI, probably one of the most boring places on earth. However, we do have the only Tridge in the world, so that’s pretty nifty...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

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Musk’s credibility site will decimate dialogue

Musk%E2%80%99s+credibility+site+will+decimate+dialogue

Silicon Valley billionaire Elon
Musk has found himself in the
spotlight once again, this time
over his constant altercations
with the media. The co-founder
of Tesla has recently become

quite a connoisseur of shenanigans, from selling flame throwers

to launching his car into orbit.

Not surprisingly, he often faces

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sharp criticism from media personalities, resulting in destabilization of Tesla stock.

On May 23, he took to Twitter
to voice his frustrations, claiming,
“The holier-than-thou hypocrisy
of big media companies who lay
claim to the truth, but publish
only enough to sugarcoat the lie,

is why the public no longer respects them”. His following tweet

read, “Anytime anyone criticizes

the media, the media shrieks
‘You’re just like Trump!’ Why
do you think he got elected in the

first place? Because no ones believes you any more.”

Following the feuding, Musk
announced he will be creating

a new website to act as a credibility score for journalists, editors and publications. The site,

dubbed Pravduh.com, will allow
the public to rate the truth of any
article and track credibility scores
over time.

I’ll be the first to agree with
Musk in his accusations. As the
fourth estate, the media holds a
responsibility to the public that

requires fair and accurate journalism. Unfortunately, all the major

outlets have become swamped in
bias. Whenever anyone, whether
Musk, the President, or other

journalists, criticize the publications, they are often met with

condescension, if not condemnation from the outlets.

It’s true that, more often than

not, the term “fake news” is applied unfairly to stories that

people simply disagree with. It’s
equally true, though, that every

major outlet has engaged in misinformation, if not outright deception, at some point in recent

times.

As public trust disappears in
our press, I can’t help but feel

drawn to Musk’s proposition.

The idea of the public being able
to call out journalists on their
rubbish is appealing to those
fed up with media dishonesty.

However, Pravduh.com cannot
be the solution, and may in fact
make matters worse.

The idea of the public being able to rank the truth of an

article is absurd, given that our

only sense of what is really going
on in the world comes from the
media.

Odds are, none of us reading
this were at the Gaza strip when
scores of people flooding Israel’s

border were shot and killed by Israeli forces. Our knowledge of the

events comes from the media outlets themselves. How then, can we

rank the outlets on their validity
when they are our only common
source of information?

At its best, the credibility site

will become an entrenched battleground of opposing sides rating

articles they disagree with as untrue. Fox News lovers will spend

their time downvoting CNN, and

vice versa. People will decrie opposing outlets as fiction, and use

the site to validate their accusations. We know this from Facebook, who has major issues with

people flagging articles they disagree with as spam. At the end of

the day, the site will not produce
any positive results, and will only
serve as a taunt from Musk and
others at journalists they oppose.

The truth is not a popularity contest. It isn’t subjective. It

doesn’t depend on who you are,
where you’re from, or what you
believe in. There is fact, and there
is opinion. The last thing we
should be doing, if we really care
about the truth, is subjecting facts
to opinion in order to determine

their validity. Whether a publication is truthful or not has nothing to do with how many people

agree with it.

Yes, media bias is a problem.

But an even bigger problem is
the self-imposed ignorance of the
American people. Let us debate,
discuss and determine the truth,
not live in delusion.

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