Category: Falling Media Standards

Of Fake News and Click Baiters, The Falling Media Standards

Pew Research Center recently released a report on media trust that showed just how low the media has scored in terms of public trust. Of the total respondents from across different political divides, only 11% of Republicans trusted the media, with 15% of Independents sharing the same. The highest trust score comes from Democrats, who have 34% of their followers trusting the media. This low level of trust is attributed to corruption within various media outlets. However, the main reason for media’s low scores can be attributed to reporting of fake stories by journalists, who are accused of rushing to air news before getting the full facts of the story. The same journalists are also accused of using fake stories as click baiters to their websites and social media platforms.

The Florida State University Fake Bowl Ineligibility Story

The most recent of this fake story coverage has been the claim that Florida State University’s bowl status was ineligible because they had won a match against an ineligible opponent. Mainstream media quickly rushed to report the story, which had originated from Reddit. According to the story, Florida State University’s 77-6 win against Delaware State University is supposed to be invalid, since Delaware State University is considered an invalid team based on the 90% scholarship requirement. The 90% requirement states that for an FBS team to have their win over an FCS team count, the total number of scholarships awarded by the FCS team must reach a maximum of sixty-three football scholarships (full scholarship), divided among the member of the school team. However, there is an exception to this rule allowed by the NCAA, which permits schools to use other forms of scholarships that are not necessarily athletics related. As at the time of the match kicking off, the Delaware team had only 55 players on full football scholarship against a required 63, but the NCAA exception negates their need to adhere to the 90% scholarship rule.

Listening to ‘Bakonydraco’

Reacting to the story, FSU stated that the media overlooked or did not bother to consider the NCAA exception, something that the NCAA backed in their own press release. The response now has many reputable publications wiping eggs off their faces after rushing to report something whose source has been found to be an anonymous respondent on Reddit going by the name of ‘Bakonydraco’.