Traditionally, one of the roles of an editor in journalism has been to serve as a gatekeeper. The idea being that there is misinformation, fakery and gossip standing at the gates just waiting to infiltrate the newsroom and thereby pollute the larger society.
Prior to the Internet, the gatekeepers were grizzled veteran editors who did a decent job of filtering slander, nonsense, and outright lies out of the day’s news digest.
Once the Internet became common in people’s homes and every Tom, Dick, and Harry who could afford a simple domain name could then become an “editor” or a “publisher,” the world decided it had no need for gatekeepers and that information was hindered by this time-tested process of sifting through the news.
Without gatekeepers, a cute kitten who can subdue a cranky old man with its mew and an election are of equal importance to the public, and a completely made up story about the alleged dirty deeds of a pizzeria is on equal footing with a deposition in a courtroom. Indeed the gatekeepers of old were doing the public a grave disservice by not allowing them to work themselves up into a frenzy of conspiracy theories and hoaxes that could easily be disproven.
Indeed, this primitive practice of using facts and reputable sources to determine what was and wasn’t newsworthy was simply a throwback to simpler times when life was not so nuanced and when people actually believed in such things as truth, reality, and standards.
We are certainly much better off as a society without these awful, horrid gatekeepers, as we all have much better judgment than they do and by-Jupiter, if we want to elevate the trivial to the top story and believe whatever outright lies best back up our pre-existing beliefs, so be it!
Note: The “editor” of this entry was seen running naked down the street shortly after filling this babbling about the demise of Western society, and has not been heard from since.