We’re not a news service. The Fur-Bearers is a non-profit organization that advocates on behalf of fur-bearing animals in the wild and in confinement, and promotes solutions for communities to co-exist. We publish frequent blogs, podcasts, and videos, all based on the principal that education is the best tool to achieve long-term, sustainable change. Much of these are based on news, or recent events. And we do extensive fact-checking of every item we see before we post or share it.
But make no mistake: we’re not a news service.
In recent weeks, the popular media and social media have been atwitter (pun intended) about fake news, and how it may have influenced one of the most intensely debated presidential elections in the United States of all time. It isn’t just fake news, though, it’s click-bait (misleading headlines intended to get you to click to open a story), and opinion disguised as news. And at the core of it all is the need for media literacy in the public, and an increase in critical thinking.
An example of this is the recent story of a polar bear petting a dog viral video, that has a dark side no one brought up in the thousands of shares or reposts. It wasn’t until traditional media looked further into the story and learned that a polar bear had killed a chained dog at the same location days prior to the viral video being posted. To be fair, traditional media also posted the original story before they put their resources behind it to ferret out the facts.
Seeing the difference between real news and opinion or propaganda isn’t always simple, particularly when we consider confirmation bias: accepting information without challenging it because it fits what we want to believe is true (or disregarding opposing information for the same reason).
The way to solve this, however, is to exercise critical thinking. We live in an era where the traditional media is no longer as obviously trustworthy (due to a 24-hour news cycle and smaller newsrooms than ever before), and we’re bombarded with information. It comes down to the average reader to do what a journalist should do: question the validity of the source, look for corroboration, address any biases of the source and yourself, and consider other angles. Add onto this following links, and, frankly, ignoring headlines and reading articles, and you’ll be pretty set to get past the spin or falsehoods.
TheFurBearers.comis not a news site. We provide analysis, advocacy, and action on news, and we’ll put out news releases to media outlets. We provide links as frequently as possible, so you can verify the information we provide, and everything we share, whether it’s a blog, podcast, video, or meme, is fact-checked before it hits the internet.
Our goal is to make Canada a better place for fur-bearing animals, and we know that education – even when it’s about our own flaws – is an important step in achieving that dream.