Letter from the Editor: We must protect real news outlets

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There’s not a lot I would credit Donald Trump with but he can certainly lay claim to thrusting the phrase ‘fake news’ into the world’s vocabulary.

First used to try to discredit the American media in the run-up to – and immediate aftermath of - the US Presidential election, it has now become common place and is being thrown about like confetti when anybody doesn’t like something that’s reported in the press or television.

The ironic thing is that the world IS awash with ‘fake news’, just not normally in places people are so keen to point the finger at

The ironic thing is that the world IS awash with ‘fake news’, just not normally in places people are so keen to point the finger at.

The BBC, national newspapers and, yes, even local papers like The Falkirk Herald are easy targets for such jibes.

But the truth is that - with a few exceptions - these are exactly the sort of organisations we should be relying upon to tell it how it is.

You might not like what they’re saying and, of course, sometimes they can get it wrong, but generally they can be expected to honestly report what is happening.

And, of course, if they make a mistake they can be taken to task and held to account.

Not so the proliferation of ‘news’ sites that anyone can launch on the internet or the Facebook fiends who take great delight in spreading rumours and sitting behind their computer screens watching thousands of people accepting them as facts.

Those people who make a hobby of knocking the establisment, as they see it, should be careful what they wish for as, unless we are very careful, ‘fake news’ is all we’ll be left with.