Is there any accurate information?
We inhabit a world brimming with an overwhelming surge of information. The ceaseless expansion of the
internet, coupled with the widespread ability to contribute opinions on social media, the proliferation of
apps, and an endless array of television channels, has collectively ushered in an era of unprecedented
access to information. Yet, within this abundance lies a predicament—while we revel in easy access, the
proliferation of information comes at the cost of its veracity. How often have we settled dinner table debates
by swiftly consulting our cell phones and the internet?
The convenience of a quick inquiry through Siri raises the pressing concern of accuracy and dependability.
The ubiquity of fake news and unfounded perspectives is rampant. Our challenge doesn't lie in acquiring
information, but rather in securing information that is trustworthy. Misinformation, to some degree, has
existed since time immemorial. The distinction between a century ago and the present lies in the multitude
of sources and their diversity. What's more, dependable information has become a scarce commodity,
given the rapid surge in misinformation that has become the new norm.
The information overload was well underway prior to the advent of Covid. The pandemic has catalysed an
information explosion from which we have not recovered. Governments initially took the lead, and
subsequently, social media took up the mantle, propelling the misinformation barrage to unprecedented
heights. In the realm of television news channels, an emerging trend is the inclusion of interviews with their
reporters, who presume to voice the perspectives of the subjects in focus. A pertinent question arises: How
can these reporters genuinely apprehend an organisation's thoughts and stances? In truth, they often can't;
instead, they fabricate such information.
Within various professions and organisations, the prevalence of misinformation is disturbingly pervasive.
Notions and "rules" are conceived, but instead of being substantiated by facts, they are built upon a
foundation of invention. The process of information fabrication supersedes the quest for accuracy, leading
to the creation of a tenuous factual basis for the information. The discipline that once ensured the
dissemination of factual, reliable information appears to have waned. The establishment of justification and
authenticity no longer hinges on actual facts but is rather constructed through self-devised tests and myths.
Governments once wielded control over the dissemination of accurate information and propaganda.
However, the advent of Covid reshaped the landscape, with the influence of social media wresting control
from governments. Citizens, who once sought truth from their governments, have now largely moved
beyond this paradigm. Presently, government information, particularly from certain regimes, is met with
pervasive scepticism, and rightfully so. This scepticism has expanded to encompass all government
information, especially when the government itself fails to base its pronouncements on factual, reliable
sources. This leaves us grappling with a fundamental dilemma: Whom can we trust? Where can we find the
The time is ripe for a resurgence of information grounded in factual evidence from reliable and verifiable
sources. The true art lies in discerning what information holds relevance and meaning for the recipient, then
presenting it in a manner that is easily digestible. Above all, this information must be factual and
dependable. Prioritising quality over quantity, focusing on essential content over information inundation,
embracing simplicity over complexity, prioritising adaptability over irrelevance, and championing accuracy
over myth—these principles hold the key to reclaiming the integrity of information dissemination.
Chair New Zealand Ethical Employers Inc