This website was launched in 2005 to fill a void in news coverage at the state Capitol. Our tagline — Because You Need It. Bad. — was true from the start. But it was originally based on the dearth of coverage, the empty desks in the Capitol press room.
Today, it has a new meaning. Because You Need It. Bad. is now more apt as a reality check against the propaganda that has been parading as news. Frankly, propaganda is worse than a lack of coverage.
The saddest thing about this year’s election was the way people bought into “fake” news. Make no mistake about it, misinformation and confirmation bias were the currency of Election 2016.
Fake news publishers played upon readers’ ugliest fears and their penchant for soundbyte solutions to complex, long-term problems, as well as a near complete lack of media literacy within the social media ecosystem.
Saw it on Facebook? Must be true! It had a photo with text under it! Shared!
A stranger Tweeted this with no hint of proof? Good enough for me… retweet . . .
Social media brought out the rube in many of us. Left, right, up, down — people bought into nonsense and then took part in the grift by dispersing it further in an effort to impress or maybe influence their friends and followers. Fake news sites make their money by fomenting anger to drive up impressions on ads from Google or Facebook or other programmatic advertising platforms.
The NYTimes traced the origin of a bogus Tweet that contained a photo of some buses. It was shared at least 16,000 times on Twitter and more than 350,000 times on Facebook shortly after the election and the originator of the tweet and photo eventually admitted it was false and said he had no responsibility for wider distribution beyond his 40 or so followers.
There’s no question about it, fake news publishers took over social media during the election process as a means to misinform tens of millions of people when they most needed good information — news reported and vetted by professional journalists, rather than propaganda machines.
We spend countless hours every week gathering information and writing news stories, based on facts that we gather by actually talking to newsmakers and politicians. We chase down information within their statements before they get printed. This all takes time and labor, and this is what you’re paying for when you contribute to local news organizations like CTNewsJunkie.
Without your support, frankly, organizations like ours will not exist. We could dump clickbait nonsense on you. But we don’t. We could create bogus memes and push them out on social media. But we don’t.
We provide information you can count on. If we’re wrong, we fix it — nobody’s perfect. Aside from our news reporting, our op-ed writers offer several lifetimes worth of experience and knowledge in the form of reasonable research and analysis.
That’s why I’m encouraging you to take a moment today to consider renewing your subscription or starting one. As little as $10 a month helps us get you the credible and reliable news coverage you expect and deserve. And need. You need this information, regardless of where you stand politically. Good information is crucial to our society.
In terms of our near-future plans, we are working on upgrades to the site to make it more mobile friendly (we’re sorry it has taken so long). And we had a great success with Vote.CTNewsJunkie.com before the election — we plan to take on more projects like that going forward.
You may also have noticed that we’re experimenting with a radio partnership — so when you don’t have time to read you can tune in and hear a quick rundown of our news in your car in the morning.
We’re doing all this despite that fact that we’re not foundation funded. We’re a small business — just like many of you who read our email newsletters and our website. We feel your pain and your fear with respect to the inherent risk and uncertainty of running a business.
Essentially, our promise to you is that we will continue to push the envelope when it comes to developing an independent news delivery system that is reliable and sustainable. It’s why we’re here. For you. But we’re not going to compromise our product to catch up with propaganda machines. Those organizations aren’t helping anyone. We are.
What this all means is pretty simple: CTNewsJunkie may be free to access, but it’s not free to produce professional news reporting. Help us out by joining our team and becoming a subscriber at a level that works for you. Or consider adding your firm to our Directory. You won’t regret it.