In what has been a dark age in journalistic conduct over the past half-decade (at least), the critical component for an informed public body can be seen being defaced in real time.
The dismissive catch-all term “conspiracy theory” has become less and less meaningful as well, as a number of supposedly unsubstantiated reports have proven to be an order of magnitude more truthful than the headlines that cut to the front of many American’s morning news feeds. The “Lab-Leak Hypothesis” being the latest, previously ostracized telling of events – proven within the contents of the disgraced Dr. Tony Fauci’s emails – that has outgrown the vines attempting to choke it out. Now the cooperate news is taking steps to preserve their credibility: By re-writing inconvenient history.
There is a difference, unbeknownst to most, between a “theory” and a “hypothesis”. In short, a hypothesis is a simple question posed that prompts investigation and experimentation. A theory, conversely, is a formulation that has been supported by findings and holds up to peer-review (think the Theory of Relativity, Theory of Gravitation, and Theory of Evolution). Seeing as how most people are illiterate in scientific terminology (in particular, those who like to bash others as being “anti-science”) many fail to realize the inherent credibility granted to anything passively labeled a “conspiracy theory”.
The Washington Post is not the only news company in name to perpetrate this kind of malicious stealth-editing, and the ethical practice of issuing public retractions, corrections, and subsequent apologies has become essentially non-existent these days. All the less necessary too, in the eyes of executives: Media is almost entirely digital now, with very few consequential, physical paper trails to be accountable for, should a mistake (or blatant lie) be published. It is now as easy as edit and a click of an “update” button to make a problem piece disappear!
Or so they think.
Along with these distressful alteration practices, another, more noble and necessary practice has been on the rise: Internet Archiving. A process by which a snapshot of a web page – namely news articles – is taken and saved to a database and can be saved to an individual’s own files for posterity. It is encouraged, therefore, that you too make use of this tool that is free and available to all. Supplying a URL address is all that is required, and will ensure that a copy of pre-edited pieces will exist to combat the falsification and erasure of corporate news malpractice!