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New Trier News

The student news site of New Trier High School

New Trier News

The student news site of New Trier High School

New Trier News

We must educate ourselves about the Israel-Hamas war using unbiased facts

The rapid spread of misinformation calls for fact-checking vigilance
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Torresarpi
New Trier News Editorial

Amidst the Israel-Hamas war, the media has been flooded with information including videos, pictures, and statistics from both Israeli and Palestinian perspectives. We would like to stress the importance of fact-checking and ensuring the reliability of information found on social media, television stations, and news sources while being mindful of their potential biases, as it is important to be as well-informed as possible.

In today’s digital landscape dominated by TikTok, X (formerly known as Twitter), Instagram, and Facebook, it is often easy to believe the information given to us, especially when it gains traction and receives a significant amount of shares, likes, and comments. While such content may be factual, it’s crucial to understand individuals’ backgrounds and the factors influencing their opinions. People are entitled to their own perspectives, but disagreements should be expressed without creating more hatred and fear.

Especially on TikTok, videos are spreading of triggering events including the deaths and suffering of citizens in both Israel and Gaza. While these videos may be real footage, there is also a risk of them being manipulated or outdated. In other words, we really cannot trust anyone on the internet who is not a reputable news source. We most certainly cannot depend on a random username with a high amount of followers to give us factual evidence. Therefore, it is important to check/verify with other sources to ensure that multiple reputable sources are reporting the same information

There are also instances of social media influencers throwing around heavy language in their content including “anti-Semitism” and “Islamophobia,” yet not using this terminology correctly or using these words out of context. It is important to notice these occurrences so that we don’t fall into the same cycle of using these words in the wrong way, considering they carry a lot of hatred and fear among many people. These are real issues that exist and islamophobia and anti-Semitism are on the rise, but we need to be mindful about how to engage in these conversations so that people don’t feel silenced.

While acknowledging that social media can convey false information, we do not discourage its use entirely. We just want to highlight how easily misinformation can spread. It is crucial to conduct thorough research and understand the history of the conflict before relying on TikToks, tweets, and Instagram posts for information. 

For those seeking additional sources, we advise choosing established publications with a significant operating history, wide recognition, and a presence in both physical and digital newspapers. It is also critical to understand the bias of a publication and its alignment with political parties before reading the sources. Equally important is ensuring that the publication has editing processes, meaning that articles are viewed by several professional, experienced editors before being published. This information can typically be found in the publication’s editorial policies and code of ethics.

In order to build a comprehensive understanding of this conflict, we recommend consulting four credible and relatively unbiased news sources: AP Newsroom, Allsides.com, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times. It is important to note that while these sources are among the most unbiased, some may argue that the Wall Street Journal is more right-leaning and the New York Times more left-leaning. Despite that, it is important to look at multiple sources to see what information is universal across the sources to filter out the information that may be biased.

As a newspaper publication committed to releasing unbiased content about local issues and events, we believe it is our duty to ensure that everyone educates themselves in a consistent and informed manner regarding this serious and sensitive topic affecting members of our own community and beyond.

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Comments (1)

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  • M

    MJ
    Jan 23, 2024 at 5:16 pm

    Could not agree more. Thank you for this sage reminder, and for the suggestion of credible news sources.

    Reply