If It’s “Fake” It’s Not “News”

By Edward M. Bury, APR (aka the PRDude)

Let’s start with this assertion: The concept of erroneous or inaccurate information shared for public consumption — most recently given the title “fake news” — has been around for a long, long time.

We can expect the "fake news" invasion to continue for a long, long time. Image source: Snopes.

We can expect the “fake news” invasion to continue for a long, long time. Image source: Snopes.com.

Possibly as long as human beings began communicating. That’s because so-called “fake news” also can be construed as “telling a lie,” and there’s no question men and women have told lies for a long, long time.

Only, in this era of instantaneous digital communications that can originate from virtually anyone or any organization with a broadband connection, fabricated messages void of truth can prove very harmful for society. At least society as we know it today.

Come on! Did you really believe that Pope Francis threw his support toward Donald Trump? Photo courtesy of GazetteReview.com.

Come on! Did you really believe that Pope Francis threw his support toward Donald Trump? Image source:  GazetteReview.com.

This was made especially clear in the months leading to the 2016 national elections, when seemingly bizarre stories — Pope Francis throwing support to Donald Trump — surfaced, were propagated and believed by many.  One can ascertain that more “news” of this type will surface in the future.

So, in the debut post of 2017, the PRDude offers this manifesto of sorts to members of the media, fellow public relations professionals and anyone who will listen:

Stop referring to lies, misinformation, fabricated facts and erroneous online content and messages as “fake news.”

As I, and assuredly millions of others maintain, what makes “news” and defines newsworthiness  is based on factual occurrences, trends or developments that meet certain criteria, including:  What took place, where it took place, who or what was involved and what was compelling or interesting.

If a report is based upon “fake” information, it is not “news.”

There. I feel better. And, that’s the truth.

 

Making a Point This Father’s Day

By Edward M. Bury, APR (aka The PRDude)

Perhaps overshadowed by Mother’s Day and other non-religious holidays, Father’s Day is an opportunity to honor the men who brought us into this world. And, by that I mean sharing something beyond a tie or polo shirt.

The USS Proteus has been de-comissioned.

The USS Proteus has been de-comissioned.

Over the five-plus years I’ve hosted the PRDude Blog, I don’t believe I’ve referenced my father, Ted Bury.

So here goes.

My father was an outstanding man who worked very, very hard to provide for his family. About the most poignant thing I can remember from my Dad was his work ethic, and the fact he could make things right that were wrong.

And, Ted Bury knew how to make things that last.

To illustrate this point, please note the image below. This is a knife, okay, a sword of sorts, my Dad made when he was in the U.S. Navy during World War II and served on the USS Proteus, a “sub-tender” ship that made parts or supplied submarines.

(Trivia: My Dad served with two guys who went on to fame in Hollywood: Bernie Schwartz, aka screen star Tony Curtis, and Larry Storch, a comic actor best known for playing Corporal Agarn on a 1960s TV show called “F Troop.” Pretty good company, and probably never a dull moment.)

Note to bad guys: If  you enter our home, you might have to face this. Get the point? I mean "points."

Note to bad guys: If you enter our home, you might have to face this. Get the point? I mean “points.”

There’s nothing like this in the world today. It was made by a man from a generation that made things that lasted.  Each of my two brothers and I have one similar to this knife, which has my Dad’s name and “U.S. Navy” on one side and serial number on the other side of the handle.

If your Dad is still with you, ask him to share some thoughts about what shaped him into the man he became. Tell him you love him, something I wish I had done.

To all Dads who read this, Happy Father’s Day. Hope I made my point.

 

Six Months Later: Reached My Goal, Bring On More

By Edward M. Bury, APR, aka The PR Dude

Monday of this week, April 18, was significant in one particular way for me.

April 18 was the day income taxes were due to be filed.  (Mine were filed in early March.)  It also was the start of Holy Week. (I grew up Catholic but don’t practice much.)  And, Passover started Monday at sundown.  (See previous statement.)

Give up?  Monday marked my sixth month in my great new position leading marketing and communications for a Chicago real estate association.

The big questions — “Is the job what you expected?” and “Are you enjoying the work, environment and colleagues?” — are certainly valid.  And, for the record, the answers are “yes” and “yes.”

From another perspective, I envision my success in this phase of my career as the culmination of a goal I set way back in the fall of 2009.  That’s when my previous job was eliminated and I had to throw myself into a serious search for a position that met my skills and salary requirements, and allowed me to grow as a professional and continue to work as a communicator.

Loyal readers know that the PRDude blog was driven by my desire to chronicle my search while commenting on public relations issues and topics.  I hope I’ve shared some insight that will help others in the same position.

Posts from the past have addressed:

And, lots of other stuff.

Today, six months after I realize my goal, I remain grateful for having an opportunity to work in a profession that’s stimulating, evolving and full of new challenges.   In the next six months, more challenges — both at work and through my volunteer duties promoting the Accreditation in Public Relations — will cross my desk.

I welcome them wholeheartedly.