By Arline Liang – Student of the School of General Studies
News is that part of communication that allow us to keep ourselves informed of the changing events, issues, and characters around the world. It has always been said that information is knowledge and when its used in the correct way, it can even save lives. However, this can also be harmful if the information transmitted is not fully verified or if it is altered, which instead of informing would be misinforming, and this could cause great damage. Those are the well-known "Fake News". The holocaust in the World War II is an example of how the news could have saved thousands of lives, but due to the “fake news”, this did not happen.
The Holocaust was one of the most brutal atrocities that has happened in world’s history, where thousands of people perceived as “racial inferiority”, such as Jews, gypsies, among others, were persecuted, tortured and subsequently killed in the cruelest ways that exist. This due to political, ideological and behavioral interests that existed during that time.
According to Leff (n.d.) throughout World War II, the American media published and broadcast timely, detailed, and accurate accounts of what was happening to the Jews in Europe. The New York Times alone printed nearly 1,200 articles about what we have now come to call the Holocaust, about one every other day. However, a lot of Americans claimed they did not know about the Holocaust as it was happening. The reason is that the American media in general, and the New York Times in particular never treated the Holocaust as an important news story. From the start of the war in Europe to its end nearly six years later, the story of the Holocaust made the Times front page only 26 times out of 24,000 front-page stories, and most of those stories referred to the victims as “refugees” or “persecuted minorities.” In only six of those stories were Jews identified on page one as the primary victims. Nor did the story lead the paper, appearing in the right-hand column reserved for the day’s most important news - not even when the concentration camps were liberated at the end of the war. In addition, the Times intermittently and timidly editorialized about the extermination of the Jews, and the paper rarely highlighted it in either the Week in Review or the magazine section.
Although it is not known why the New York Times did not publish these facts on the cover and changed it into lead news, it is very likely that the fact that the New York's Times and other news organizations did not consider the murder of thousands of Jews as an important novelty could also affect other journalists or investigators, who tried to find out what happened in World War II. Perhaps if the news had been reported clearly and reliably, these people would have raised their voices and done something about it. I don't know how many people would have been saved if the New York's Times had acted differently, but it is true that the story has been different for many people. And that is why it is important to make an assessment of the veracity of the news that is transmitted.