The story of Noa Pothoven, the Dutch girl who committed suicide after a past of sexual abuse, went wide throughout the media.
Unlike so much of the media’s fake news, this isn’t a case of bias. The story, which claimed she had been legally euthanized, if anything, leaned right. And that’s not surprising because one origin point was the Daily Mail which, is to be charitable, a British tabloid whose US presence does pander to an underserved conservative population of Americans.
What the story reveals is that media fake news isn’t just caused by bias, but clickbait and sloppiness.
In less than 24 hours, versions of the story were written by the Sun, the Daily Star, the Independent, UNILAD, Sky News, The Times, the Italian press, the Australian News Corp-owned News.com.au, the New York Post, the Daily Beast, NBC-part owned Euronews, and the Washington Post.
They weren’t just referencing Mail Online’s story. Some didn’t attribute the information to anywhere.
That’s the important part.
For all the illusion of professionalism, the media is short of standards. It insists that it should be in charge of determining what fake news is, but its business model is underpaid millennials churning out clickbait to meet a Twitter-driven timeline.
The differences between the clickbait garbage outlets that exist entirely off a social media ecosystem and the mainstream media, when it comes to professional standards, is slight at best.
The media’s journalists claim to be the adults in the newsroom. They’re not.