Journalists get paid to tell the truth. If they spread lies and misinformation instead, that is fraud. Journalists who scam their customers into paying for lies should have their property confiscated as punishment for their crimes.
What you do unto others, others may do unto you. Thus, for every dollar these journalists scam from their customers, their customers should get two dollars back. Why two dollars? If the fine is one dollar, then the thief will have experienced zero net loss in the worst case scenario, and in the best case scenario, the thief gets away with stealing a dollar. In order to do to the thief what the thief has done to you, you must cause the thief to suffer a net loss of one dollar. Hence, a two dollar fine for every dollar the thief steals.
Journalists who get paid to lie (i.e. their customers want them to lie) have not commited fraud because they have not falsely represented their services to their customers. Thus, no penalty is permitted against these journalists. But who would pay journalists to lie? Perhaps someone like Jeff Bezos might pay the Washington Post to lie in order to influence the outcome of the upcoming US presidential election. In this case, the lying journalists have not misrepresented their services to their patron (Jeff Bezos), so they cannot be accused of defrauding him. However, the Washington Post does have some paying customers who pay for the truth. These customers will have cause to seek restitution from the Washington Post if the Washington Post lies.
Journalists who spread lies and misinformation who receive no payment for their work cannot be charged with fraud. They have not caused anyone to suffer a loss of property, therefore no one may cause them to suffer a loss of property. Lying in itself is not a moral crime, and bears no punishment, even if the lie provokes mass riots that cause death, injury, and loss of property. However, if the lie is accompanied with a direct call to action, and this provides the motive for others to riot, then the instigator may be charged with the crimes of the rioters.
Do not allow journalists to escape the consequences of their immorality. Hold them accountable for the harm they have caused. This is not silencing their freedom of speech. They are free to say whatever they want. They are not free to steal your money. Of course, you probably don't subscribe to most the mainstream media, unless you're forced to through the state-funded media. So who's actually paying these journalists? And do these patrons pay for the truth or for lies?