The Rise of Fake News

Source: Politico Magazine, December 18, 2016

…The Pew Research Center’s “State of the Media 2016” paints a grim picture for most serious news organizations. Advertising revenue is down; staffs continue to get cut; the number of newspapers has declined by 100 since 2004. Between 2003 and 2014, with the decline of the printed press, the number of professional statehouse reporters dropped 35 percent. Professional local beat reporters are also a dying breed.

These figures, trained in basic journalistic principles, were locally known and trusted. They could be found in bars and local schools and acted as the human link between statehouses, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. population. They were seen as local heroes. (Jimmy Stewart often played truth-obsessed newspaper reporters in films, like the 1948 thriller Call Northside 777.) But today, these popular role models and societal links are gone, and with them, a trusted filter within civil society – the sort of filter that can say with authority to fellow local citizens that fake news is not only fake, it is also potentially deadly.

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2 responses to “The Rise of Fake News

  1. As a consequence of what can be worded as ‘deconstructive relativisation of truth in ideologically motivated narratives’, the rise of this phenomenon seems attributable, in large part, to a loss of popular trust and legitimacy in institutions among which the fourth estate has traditionally assumed the role of a mediating pillar and presented itself as a source of veritas.

  2. mike holliday

    The media has destroyed itself by trashing its reputation and destroying its place in the community.
    It did this by selective reporting of news; the inclusion of comment in news; partisan political and business reporting and an almost total compliance with the wishes of authority and the rich and powerful.
    Rightly or wrongly the media once was regarded as a buffer against unchecked power and an ally in the fight against authoritarian dictate.
    Not any longer.