How social media shifts burden of fact checking to news consumers

This is the seventh of 12 primers on current affairs issues under the news outreach programme by The Straits Times and the Ministry of Education.

A protester with a mobile phone showing the three-finger salute during a demonstration against the military coup outside the Myanmar Embassy in Bangkok on Feb 7. PHOTO: AFP

For centuries, since the first newspaper was published in Germany in the 1600s, news organisations had been the gatekeepers of information. Publishers decided what news or announcements made it into their papers, which they mass produced on printing presses and distributed to the public.

As literacy and the demand for newspapers grew, journalists were hired to report and write the news, and professional processes and values arose, with accuracy and fairness becoming the tenets of most reputable news outfits.

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