Fake News Inquiry: Old Wine in New Bottles
Date Written: 01/02/2017
Year Published: 2017
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX20303
A criticism of a recent investigation by the UK's Culture, Media and Sports committee into 'fake news' and public persuasion by false propaganda, describing the challenges of identifying or preventing the dissemination of fake news.
Fake news is standard: cereal, wheat and bran, the fibre of the information world. It has been the foodstuff of media for decades, if not centuries. What matters now is the outrage felt by those in news outlets who believe that a tinge of objectivity still remains in the process of news production. It ignores that news that is often not authentic has always been the mainstay of journalism, a case of unchecked sources, careless investigation or, in some cases, pure invention.
Where, then, does the burden lie to combat such material? Where it always did: at the end of the production process (for news is undeniably produced, as opposed to discovered). It is the consumer of news who remains judge, the reader, however well informed. All agents have responsibility to oversee it, to question it, but the ultimate point of reception should be the greatest questioner, checking, reading, painstakingly, between the lines. Unfortunately, much in the way of news is merely read to affirm a pre-existing position.