Our world is at a crossroad. The backdrop of 2016 is the dark cloud of wars and tragedies, populist backlash and disarray, selfishness and lies. Against this, the prospect of a sunny horizon of prosperity and development may seem distant, but it is the horizon toward which we focus our efforts.
From Brexit to the U.S. presidential election, many changes occurred in American and European politics, and many half-truths and lies were nurtured in the public’s mind throughout their course. But truth must always be sought out, no matter how harsh it is or how powerful the person who suppresses the facts.
During the U.S. election, traditional media fell into a crisis of trustworthiness. The major outlets failed to accept the reality of voters’ sentiments and were convinced Donald Trump could not win. In response, the public undermined mainstream media buffs by turning to social media platforms. According to a Gallup poll, 68 per American public have lost faith in mainstream newspapers, magazines, and TV news channels. The rise of internet publishing and free content has usurped these outlets’ roles, but this has only misled the public further. Political echo chambers tell the public only what they want to hear, while fake and conflicting news often causes confusion and misunderstanding.
The fallout from fake news is potentially very dangerous, as suggested by the recent nuclear threats between Pakistan and Israel. A fake news report on December 20 said that the Israel Defense Minister issued a threat to Pakistan: “If Pakistan sends ground troops to Syria on any pretext, we will destroy the country with nuclear attack.” Before he realized the report was fictitious, the Pakistani Defense Minister responded on Twitter, saying, “Israel forgets Pakistan is a nuclear state too.”
If the minister of a country does not check the facts on such a serious matter, how we can expect common readers to accomplish the same? News spread on social media will eventually lose its power to increased skepticism, but in order to present an alternative when that day comes, traditional media must straighten its biases and shed political and financial influences to regain the public’s trust as a bulwark of credible, factual information.
At The Global Intelligence, our commitment is to honesty and factual analysis. Supported not by clicks, advertising, government, or big business, our independent analysis answers only to you, our subscribers. We seek to cover world affairs from every angle, critical of every government when it falters and every political ideology when it oversteps realities. In this, our sixth year of publication, we renew our pledge to be a pioneer of truth and humanity and a magazine that aligns with its readers’ interests only.
TGI wishes you all the best in the New Year of 2017.
— Probir Kumar Sarkar