How Does Fake News Work?

A man who mocked a person with disabilities in front of a crowd, who bragged about sexually assaulting women, who seems incapable of making a logical argument is now the leader of the most powerful country on earth. The day after the election, I peeked outside and carnage greeted me. SILC’s hard work — from the secretaries to the counselors to the professors — shaped my son, and his life now has a worldwide influence on both our national security and our international relations with American allies.

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  • The Philadelphia Inquirer addressed this directly by publishing an article about how the public can be smarter about finding trustworthy news during the pandemic.
  • The Corpus Christi Caller-Times wrote an article explaining who they are, why they do what they do, and what the newsroom’s decision-making process is.
  • If you are at an office or shared network, you can ask the network administrator to run a scan across the network looking for misconfigured or infected devices.
  • On Feb. 27, 1968, Walter Cronkite broke from traditional straight news delivery to opine on the carnage of the Vietnam War.
  • Google News appreciates quick publishing on recent topics with more attention – particularly on breaking news.
  • Two of the only news sites capable of hosting images, the San Jose Mercury News and Time magazine, posted photographs of the scene.

Viewed from a sociological perspective, news for mass consumption is produced in hierarchical organizations. Reporters, working near the bottom of the structure, are given significant autonomy in researching and preparing reports, subject to assignments and occasional intervention from higher decision-makers. Owners at the top of the news hierarchy influence the content of news indirectly but substantially. The professional norms of journalism discourage overt censorship; however, news organizations have covert but firm norms about how to cover certain topics. These policies are conveyed to journalists through socialization on the job; without any written policy, they simply learn how things are done.

News Agencies

The five papers studied produced 186 stories during these three days, or 37 per outlet. That first level analysis found that, over those three days, these media produced 715 different stories about local events in the city. Enid News and Eagle received critical comments after sharing a story on Facebook.

Telegraph Media Group

When we come across claims that make us feel something — anger, vindication, skepticism — we need to check those claims against different sources. If we can find multiple sources with the same report, we’ve done our due diligence and can comfortably make an informed decision. People simply don’t have time for a multipart checklist to assess the credibility of every piece of information. The students I’ve shared SIFT with like it because it’s quick and simple, and gives them a better feeling of control of their information use, regardless of if it comes from traditional news outlets, YouTube or social media.


Fundamentally, those who operate fake news websites want as many visitors to their sites as possible. While some may want their visitors to see the content and have it influence their political values, others simply want internet users to click on them, which often takes users to a website where users see more content and/or see advertising. When a website has ads on it, those visits pay the website owner advertising revenue. Both of these motivations—ideological and commercial—need as many people to click on the website link and visit as possible . With this in mind, let’s go through the steps that go into creating a fake news factory.

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The copy-desk chief routes finished stories to other editors who fit local and wire service stories, headlines (written by the editor, not the reporter!) and digital photographs onto pages. Most newspapers do this work, called pagination, with personal computers using software available at any office supply store. The local papers, however, are also offering less than they once did. For all of 2009, for instance, the Sun produced 32% fewer stories on any subject than it did in 1999, and 73% fewer stories than in 1991, when the company still published an evening and morning paper with competing newsrooms.

Coco revived the station about 15 years ago and converted it to a nonprofit, low-power FM station in 2014. Dan and Ellen talk withTim Coco, president and general manager of Public Media of New England. Coco is known for his work as a journalist and advertising executive. He oversees day-to-day operations at the low-power FM stationWHAV, which can be found at 97.9 on the radio dial if you happen to be in the Haverhill area. Ask a question about working or interviewing at News 12 Networks.

Art Cullen, editor of the twice-weekly Storm Lake Times in rural Buena Vista County, Iowa, tells the story of his fight for survival at a time when local papers across the country are cutting back and shutting down. The paper is the subject of a vivid documentary, “Storm Lake,” that will be broadcast on most PBS stations on Monday, Nov. 15, at 10 p.m., including GBH-2 in Boston. Also, we hear from Northeastern University graduate student Zhaozhou Dai about what he and fellow grad student Maaisha Osman learned when they visited the New Haven Independent and its community radio station, WNHH-LP, on Election Night.

In my teaching experience, that’s the best way to get people to adopt new habits. WJXT4 anchor Vic Micolucci used Facebook to explain the station’s approach to local coverage. In the post, he reminded users that he’s a part of the Jacksonville community, he’s committed to sharing the most accurate, up-to-date information and he doesn’t like to see the local community hurting.

Most news is automatically about people, because it is the things people do to change the world which makes news. Events which are new and unusual may still not be of general interest. Scientists may report that an insect has just been found living on a plant which it did not previously inhabit. The discovery is new, and the event is unusual, but it is unlikely to interest anybody other than a specialist or enthusiast. If dogs are eaten in your society then it will not be news when a man bites a dog – so long as it has been cooked. These elements make up what we call the “news value” of information.

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