The Leighton Buzzard Observer is joining forces with local and regional titles across the UK to support a campaign to oppose fake news.
Major publishers have come together with the industry representative body, the News Media Association, to launch ‘Fighting Fake News’, which will run throughout May.
Fake news is a trend that’s becoming a global problem in the fast-paced digital world of the internet and social media.
Sometimes you’ll easily spot these made-up articles maybe hosted on websites set up entirely for satire, but at other times the material can be manipulated to look like credible journalistic reports that are easily spread online to large audiences willing to believe the fictions and spread the word.
Take one Bedfordshire-focused spoof news website. They’ve been ‘reporting’ on fires, crime, the arts, and local council matters, among other subjects.
Tucked away in the ‘About Us’ section is the clue that you’ve got to take their articles with a huge pinch of salt... They state: “A spoof news website. Our content is a load of old fictitious phoney. Just to clarify its all made up and not to be taken factually.”
However, that caveat can be easily missed and proof that the public can be taken in by fake news comes from the calls received at this office in recent months asking for us to verify if what a person has heard or read about from other sources is true - invariably it isn’t.
Back in the real world there’s only one place to come for a reliable source of news – your Leighton Buzzard Observer.
Our newspaper – established in 1861 and still going strong – and website is a respected and trusted source of news.
We employ professionally-trained journalists to collate and write news articles, demonstrating the difference between what our journalists and brands have to offer against the unregulated world of the internet and social media.
We will report and explain the issues in an entirely neutral, honest and balanced way.
In recent times we have drawn attention to long-running concerns about the policing of Leighton Buzzard, extensively covered the controversy over the retail parks planned for the town, and thrown the spotlight on a variety of community issues which are important to you, our valued readers.
Readers turn to us to ensure their voice is heard, when they want to shout proudly about their achievements, publicise their events, or when they want us to investigate a perceived injustice and seek to hold those responsible to account for their actions.
Our news is the genuine article. Fact - not fake.