Fake news and the future of independent journalism

Bekerman, M 2017, 'Fake news and the future of independent journalism' , Журналист (The Journalist), 2017 (04) .

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Abstract

"Fake News" have pushed up the agenda of discussions among journalists and are beginning to dominate debate about the future direction of journalism and its current ailments. Clearly, fake news is not only about alternative facts, but in some ways about how the media industry has been adjusting to new technologies and digital reality. It is also about how the democratising effect of the internet and horizontal news distribution is being exploited and reverted back to information dominance models by powerful interests at the time of geopolitical clashes. From the point of view of journalism, it is perhaps about applying journalistic principles and news values to alternative narratives in order to produce mental short-cuts required in the digital reality increasingly accepting only Twitter-length messages. But ultimately, the fake news phenomenon is about fast disappearing editorial processes - one of the most expensive manifestations of genuine journalism for which big media conglomerates and media-related companies no longer want to pay. In an ideological fight or a political conflict a hoax or a spoof story provides a convenient shortcut: rather than argue out your point of view against the arguments of the opponent, you demolish their narrative with carpet bombing or selective strikes of well crafted fake news. Brexit, US presidential election, and the Ukraine conflict have provided ample evidence that the culture of producing “alternative facts” is gaining the upper hand once the watchful eye of the media has been deprived of the power of the editorial lenses.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Arts & Media
Journal or Publication Title: Журналист (The Journalist)
Publisher: ООО Медиагруппа «Журналист»
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Depositing User: M Bekerman
Date Deposited: 21 Apr 2017 09:46
Last Modified: 04 Aug 2017 13:50
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/42163

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