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The One Thing That Could Change Media and Eliminate Fake News

Award-winning journalist Eric J Scholl published a story this week where he deconstructs Jonathan Swan’s interview with President Trump. As he notes in the article, the most powerful thing about the interview is how Swan fact checks the President DURING the interview and refutes his false claims in the moment. As Scholl writes:

“If you can challenge forcefully, real-time, you don’t need to go back and do fact-checking. And that’s the real success of it. And at least part of the reason this type of interview doesn’t happen too often is that fact-checking has become too much of a crutch for media. The President says something. He isn’t challenged on the spot. But he’s fact-checked. Job well done. But it’s not. Because fact-checking is really after the fact-checking. So it’s often rendered meaningless by the time reporters get around to it, because whatever lie has been allowed to float around for however long and taken on a life of its own.”

This is the most powerful insight I have read recently about our current media climate and such an important point that should be shared far and wide. Doing this sort of fact checking live is very difficult and requires a legendary level of preparation on the part of the journalist doing the interview.

Partially, this is why it is so rarely seen. But when dealing with politicians, business executives or anyone else who has a tendency to exaggerate or flat out lie in an interview, it has become a critical skill. So when we see someone exercise it in real time, their professionalism and preparation should be celebrated.

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About Rohit

A keynote speaker on trends, innovation, marketing, storytelling and diversity.

Rohit Bhargava is on a mission to inspire more non-obvious thinking in the world. He is the #1 Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author of eight books and is widely considered one of the most entertaining and original speakers on disruption, trends and marketing in the world.

Rohit has been invited to keynote events in 32 countries … and over the past year, given more than 100 virtual talks from his home studio. He previously spent 15 years as a marketing strategist at Ogilvy and Leo Burnett and also teaches marketing and storytelling as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University.

He loves the Olympics, actively hates cauliflower and is a proud dad of boys.

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