As a recent New York Times piece reminds us, it has become increasingly harder to detect disinformation campaigns and to recognize purposeful attempts to mislead the public, especially online (Kang, 2022). The spread of COVID-19 disinformation during the past 2 years and the current Ukraine–Russia war have shown the critical importance of information literacy in today’s day and age. Being able to discern factual information from opinion and also being able to detect misinformation and disinformation in the media have become more important than ever, as our recent JMCQ Invited Forum highlighted (Dan et al., 2021).
As communicators, we know the traditional Sender-Message-Channel-Receiver communication model well. We also know that there is noise in any communication process in terms of transmission and reception. But whose responsibility is it to reduce or minimize the noise when it comes to news? The first and immediate answer is that the responsibility lies with the journalists and other media professionals whose task is to represent accurate information without bias or political agenda. This applies not only to textual information but also to the selection of sources, visuals, as well as numerical information and contextual background.