A nice, albeit overly-optimistic analysis, George. But I think the problem is far deeper than you realize. It's easy to point at Fox, Breibart, QAnon, etc. as purveyors of lies. The problem, however, is that even the supposedly "responsible" media is in fact driven by precisely the same economic model as fake news. "If it bleeds, it leads" has been media lore for well over a century. The news media presents context-free sensationalism that, while factually true, utterly distorts our perceptions of reality. The classic example is an airplane crash: the news outlets faithfully report every aircraft incident over the weeks following a major event, and people get the idea that flying is dangerous. No news organization will ever report the 100,000 flights that take off and arrive without incident every single day (in our pre-coronapanic world). The fact is, we get unreliable sensationalist reportage because most people are simple-minded, intellectually indolent, and want simple memes thrown at them that require no effort to repeat mindlessly to their friends. No amount of education or well-meaning tinkering around the edges will solve this fundamentally human problem.

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