Fake News and the Future of Journalism

From friend of the section Pablo J. Boczkowski of Northwestern University:

“Every public has its own universe of discourse and…humanly speaking, a fact is only a fact in some universe of discourse.”

Writing those words three quarters of a century before the Oxford Dictionaries named “post-truth” the 2016 word of the year, Robert Park — a former newspaper journalist and one of the founders of the Chicago School of sociology — understood fake news to be an intrinsic element of any information ecology. Long before Mark Zuckerberg started to be treated as a rapacious business man, noted real and fictitious publishers such as William Randolph Hearst and Charles Foster Kane aimed to exploit the commercial potential of fake news, as did others who predated and succeeded them. On top of intentional attempts to distort or misinform, many unintentional mistakes caught by the public — and a suspicion that there might exist more unidentified ones — have further reinforced a certain stance of skepticism among media audiences over the inherent veracity of the news report.

Read the full article.

 

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