Home Current Events It’s Time For All Of Us To End Fake News (Or Fake Truth)
It’s Time For All Of Us To End Fake News (Or Fake Truth)

It’s Time For All Of Us To End Fake News (Or Fake Truth)

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Wally BostonAs part of the 2016 presidential election and the post-election analysis, the topic of “fake news” was discussed almost as much as the email hacking of the Democratic National Committee. With both sides pointing fingers, conservatives at progressives and vice versa, it’s clear that both sides were successful in distributing “news” that their followers could post on Facebook or Twitter and opt for broader distribution of the “truth” vis-à-vis their political perspective.

Fake news isn’t new. In fact, politicians have been muckraking since the 1800s, when news spread across America via horseback riders traveling from town to town distributing candidates’ posters or spreading rumors about the political opposition at citizen meetings. With the advent of the Internet and platforms like Facebook and Twitter with billions of members, the speed of “news” transmission has accelerated, as has its credibility with “sources” appearing to be professional news organizations. The number of Facebook newsfeeds and related tweets is mind-boggling, each lending themselves to a narrower focus by many on the articles/links shared more broadly by their friends and colleagues.

How do we stop fake news? I’d like to say through a bipartisan initiative, but that’s not likely anytime soon. The only organization influential enough to make any difference is the established press itself and, unfortunately, there are college courses in oral history demonstrating the influence of publications’ editors on published content versus the perspective of participants and eyewitnesses interviewed years later.

We need the press to reform their slanted coverage and return to impartiality. If the media doesn’t do so to regain public trust, we are likely to continue to see huge schisms among Americans and, potentially, a unilateral move by some in national leadership to censor dissent. For a more detailed expert assessment of analyzing media accuracy (lending credence to the misinformation or fake news), see Fake News and Data Mining: Mapping Today’s Media for Intel Analysis, written by APUS staff member Erik Kleinsmith.

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Wally Boston Dr. Wallace E. Boston was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of American Public University System (APUS) and its parent company, American Public Education, Inc. (APEI) in July 2004. He joined APUS as its Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer in 2002. In July 2016, he retired as APUS president and continued as CEO of APEI. In September 2017, he was reappointed APUS president after the resignation of Dr. Karan Powell. In September 2019, Angela Selden was named CEO of APEI, succeeding Dr. Boston who will remain APUS president until his planned retirement in June 2020. Dr. Boston guided APUS through its successful initial accreditation with the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association in 2006 and ten-year reaccreditation in 2011. In November 2007, he led APEI to an initial public offering on the NASDAQ Exchange. During his tenure, APUS grew to over 100,000 students, 200 degree and certificate programs, and approximately 90,000 alumni. In addition to his service as a board member of APUS and APEI, Dr. Boston is a member of the Board of Advisors of the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA), a member of the Board of Overseers of the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education, a board member of the Presidents’ Forum, and a board member of Hondros College of Nursing and Fidelis, Inc. He has authored and co-authored papers on the topic of online post-secondary student retention, and is a frequent speaker on the impact of technology on higher education. Dr. Boston is a past Treasurer of the Board of Trustees of the McDonogh School, a private K-12 school in Baltimore. In his career prior to APEI and APUS, Dr. Boston served as either CFO, COO, or CEO of Meridian Healthcare, Manor Healthcare, Neighborcare Pharmacies, and Sun Healthcare Group. Dr. Boston is a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Management Accountant, and Chartered Global Management Accountant. He earned an A.B. degree in History from Duke University, an MBA in Marketing and Accounting from Tulane University’s Freeman School of Business Administration, and a Doctorate in Higher Education Management from the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education. In 2008, the Board of Trustees of APUS awarded him a Doctorate in Business Administration, honoris causa, and, in April 2017, also bestowed him with the title President Emeritus. Dr. Boston lives in Owings Mills, MD with his wife Sharon and their two daughters.

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  1. I just wanted to applaud you for this post. Emotions are high right now and everyone is looking to be on the righteous side of this moment in history. In doing so, all sides have forgotten that American can’t survive divided. The press is just as much a party of our delicate system as Congress or the President. Time to rebuild trust and cool tempers. Thanks for taking the time to make this statement.

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