REPORTING FAKE NEWS IS LIKE
LITTERING THE OCEAN WITH PLASTIC,
By Lorna Callendar
THE SEA TURTLES, SHARKS AND FISH are having new and fatal experiences. Hitherto, they thought the content of the ocean was edible and they devoured it all. But the plastics they devour are not digestible. They remain in their gut, cluttering their insides, in their un-metbolised state. This causes them eventually to succumb to their experience.
So it is when our minds are fed with fake food for thought. Until now, we thought anything printed in ‘black and white’ was the truth, and could be mentally digested. But how can the real and unreal worlds mesh easily in our minds. There will be clutter – indigestible data – pollution – to which many succumb.
Yet, littering the mind with fake reports can be seen as much worse than littering the ocean with plastic because the former is done with devious intent when it is fed to vulnerable minds, while the latter is a consequence of practicing bad habits with no such cunning intent.
With the advent of social media and talk shows, we are far more likely to suffer from mental pollution than we were before and sometimes the reporters speak with such passion that minds begin to reek with suspicion, especially those political minds who delight hearing negative reports about their opponents.
Last week, even Team Unity supporters were alarmed regarding the report of the hold-up of St. Kitts passports in St. Maarten, and waited to hear the explanation as to why this happened. (The stories allege that the authorities in St. Maarten confiscated over 105 new St. Kitts and Nevis’s passports being carried by citizens of the Dominican Republic, and that the St. Maarten authorities sent the passports to the authorities in St. Kitts and Nevis.)
To the shock of all, supporters learnt that this never happened…neither St. Maarten National Security nor St. Kitts Nevis National Security Offices knew where this originated and knew nothing of it. What is happening to the true journalists who sought to verify their sources before they rushed to share?
“The Ministry (of National Security) wishes to make it pellucidly clear that the stories are false, unfounded and malicious. Furthermore, persons responsible for creating and spreading such stories are clearly hostile to the best interests of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis. “
In this month of October, we are asked to become aware of so many community, regional and international movements – all working to uplift humanity and build our nation. At each event, we invoke God’s presence but do we at these times think of how we are distorting and polluting God’s world by making what is unreal appear real and vice versa? Can we, as Christians, live with that?
This teaching may get us back on course…
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”