January 30, 2017
Facebook hero Dan Rather fights fake news with a new digital news feed
by Julia Fleischaker
In the last year, legendary newsman Dan Rather has seen his career reborn as a respected source of *real* news, and a sane yet increasingly alarmed, voice on Facebook. His page has over 1.5 million fans (just to be clear, that’s far more than gathered in Washington for Trump’s inauguration — sorry Donald, but numbers don’t lie), and his updates regularly get thousands of likes and shares.
So it’s good news that on January 9, Rather announced he’s starting a new page, more “freewheeling” than his personal one, to follow more of the fast-breaking stories we all need to know about.
I love news. I always have and can confidently say I always will. Journalism, real journalism, deep-digging reporting without fear or favor, is as important now, if not more so, than any time I can remember. Together, on this Facebook page, we have built a community that I know values real news. But there is only so much I can share and on which I can comment. Take a week like this week, where the news of the confirmation hearings is coming fast and furious. There are far more articles that deserve your attention and great reporters who I would love to spotlight.
Rather clearly believes, like many of us, that there’s more at stake from a Trump presidency than a few laws we may not agree with. We’re dealing with a threat, as he told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, “we’ve never had… before.”
Leslie Salzillo at Daily Kos writes that “if it’s anything like Dan Rather’s posts this past year, it’s going to be like a sledge-hammer coming down on the new administration,” and, while I’m not sure the administration would even know (or admit it) if an actual sledge-hammer came down on them, this is still good news. Since the announcement, the new page has already garnered just shy of 800,000 followers, a remarkable number for being less than a month old.
Let’s give Rather the last word.
I got into news in the first place to be part of something noble and bigger than myself. For those reasons, I am starting a second Facebook page called News And Guts, a digital news feed of sorts. It’s also the name of my digital news and production company. The goal is to inform, innovate, and inspire. This Facebook page will be under the stewardship of a very talented group of reporters who work at my company. These are men and women who know real news. They’ve reported with me around the globe from dangerous and difficult datelines. I trust them and so should you.
In an era of fake news, false equivalence, and too much fluff, let’s take a stand together to demand better, and bring attention to all those doing great work. Please click here: News And Guts, give the page itself a like, and let’s jump into a new experiment.
Julia Fleischaker is a former director of marketing and publicity at Melville House.