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What is difference between real and fake news?

By Joe Centers • Updated Jan 10, 2018 at 9:15 PM

This is a text I received from my buddy last week:

“Joe, it’s on the front page. Everybody saw it! Who gives a damn? Need something better on the front than junk. That story is junk. I don’t need to read the paper back to front.”

That’s a pretty good question from a pretty smart guy. He and I have spent many hours over the years debating the media and what is, and is not, real news. 

He was talking about the story we had about the “90 Day Fiancé.”

Things have been rocky almost from the start for former ‘90 Day Fiancé’ stars Danielle Mullins and Mohamed Jbali.

Mullins, then living in Norwalk, began dating Jbali, a Tunisia native, after meeting on the Internet. He came to Norwalk to make a go of it with Mullins on a 90-day visa. Their courtship and eventual marriage was filmed for Season 2 of TLC's hit reality TV series ‘90 Day Fiancé.’

As fans of the show are well aware, Jbali and Mullins have had their fair share of ups and downs. Prior to the wedding, Jbali expressed he had concerns about marrying Mullins while talking to an immigration counselor.

The two then split in October 2016 and were granted a divorce in March. Danielle chose to keep her double last name, Mullins Jbali.

Fans have been following Jbali's story since then. After moving from Florida, where he lived without Mullins, Jbali, 29, is now living in Texas, according to his Instagram posts (@mohamedjbaliusa), where he gives fans regular updates.

Recently, Jbali revealed he is interested in making a career out of YouTube videos.

"I am really enjoying this; I might turn it to a career," he said in a recent post of a photo of video-editing equipment.

According to inTouch Magazine, Jbali currently is paying bills by working as a driver for the ride-sharing companies Uber and Lyft.

Fake news, he says. Hey, how fake can it be? The two were legally married by Norwalk Mayor Rob Duncan and Danielle revealed she has moved to Sandusky and is living in a double-wide mobile home.

How more real can it get?

My buddy may not like it or think it is news, but I showed him some numbers we get from Cxense, an online tracking system we pay for.

On Jan. 5 — two days after the story ran in the print, it was the highest-read story online with 11,241 views, and readers were spending 1 minute and 23 seconds looking at it. The next story was the new inmates with 2,774 viewers and 52 seconds.

We can look at numbers and see exactly how many people are on our site and what they are looking at. 

We don’t make up the news. We try to get people news they want to read.

It’s good to get comments like this because it gives a chance to let our readers tell us what they think. And we appreciate what our readers think. What do you think?

Let me know.

Joe Centers is Reflector managing editor. He can be reached at jcenters@norwalkreflector.com.

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