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Are we spreading fake news about fake news?

In a new research paper that Poynter says will be published tomorrow by the National Bureau of Economic Research, Hunt Allcott of New York University and Matthew Gentzkow of Stanford University conclude that “fake news” (propaganda presented as facts and designed to control, rather than satire) is not likely to have had an impact on the US presidential election. I am prepping for my first day of classes tomorrow, so I…

Little Things

I recently came across an abandoned stash of tiny doll shoes. When TeenGirl was little, she would take the tiny shoes off her tiny dolls, and if she momentarily lost one, she’d be distraught. My wife finally got all the shoes in one place, put them on a ledge, and we all forgot about them. This magazine article describes a subculture based on the aesthetic of miniatures, and the mastercrafting…

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An open letter to Trump from the US press corps

This is the message I’ve been waiting for. Perfect reading assignment to start off my journalism class next week. Blunt, insightful, scrappy, professional. No whining, finger-pointing, or distractions. We will set higher standards for ourselves than ever before. We credit you with highlighting serious and widespread distrust in the media across the political spectrum. Your campaign tapped into that, and it was a bracing wake-up call for us. We have to…

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Lie to Me: Fiction in the Post-Truth Era

I’m trying to remember what it was like, a few months ago when I was thinking about picking “fake news” as the topic for a media course, when I was briefly worried I wouldn’t be able to find enough background reading on the issue. I’m no longer worried about that. (I am, however, a lot more worried about fake news.) The problem with our “post-truth” politics is that a large…

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Contemptible and Exploitive “Share if You’re Not Ashamed of Me” Facebook Scams

Outline: Various Facebook posts that feature photographs of young people with disabilities beg you to share to prove that you are not ashamed of the pictured youngsters. Other versions claim that nobody likes the people depicted in the images because they are disabled and, therefore, nobody will share their posts. Brief Analysis: The posts are the work of callous and contemptible Facebook users that are simply trying to garner attention and promote themselves…

Understanding The Fake News Universe

The fake news universe is vast and ephemeral, and to some extent its dimensions are unknowable. But Media Matters’ research team spent hundreds of hours trying to map out as much of it as possible. Below is what we’ve learned and how we’ve come to define many of the moving parts that create an ecosystem for fake news to spread and thrive. —Media Matters

Trump Is Making Journalism Great Again

Long gone are the days when the media would agree not to film FDR in his wheelchair, on the grounds that the image of the president in a wheelchair would project an international image of America as weak. I think much of The Politico’s post is wishful thinking; and of course just because one media outlet publishes an essay advocating this position does not mean that all reporters will or…