Nov 28, 2016

News, news everywhere, but not a word of it is real

Publishing fake news has proven a lucrative business model -- with very real consequences.

Myriam Robin — Media Reporter

Myriam Robin

Media Reporter

Did you see the heartwarming story that the founder of Corona beer left millions of dollars to everyone in his small town in his will? It was widely reported — the perfect story for sharing on Facebook. The problem is that, like the story of Pope Francis endorsing Donald Trump or the myth that Hillary Clinton slept through the Benghazi attackit is not true.

During a US election in which the mainstream media emerged as a key battleground, attacked and criticised for bias and elitism — attacks, one has to conclude, at least partly vindicated by the final election result — the key takeaway message for most major media companies has been that fake “news” articles on social media misled the electorate, and Facebook is to blame.

Free Trial

Proudly annoying those in power since 2000.

Sign up for a FREE 21-day trial to keep reading and get the best of Crikey straight to your inbox

By starting a free trial, you agree to accept Crikey’s terms and conditions


Leave a comment

14 thoughts on “News, news everywhere, but not a word of it is real

  1. Andrew Seeze

    hahaha. Don’t you love it when the MSM gets beaten at it’s own game.

    1. Saugoof

      No, I really don’t because, like it or not, the alternative is disastrous.

  2. Daly

    Because all commercial media have been dependent on advertising for ever, governments set up public broadcasters like the ABS,SBS, BBC etc. Only in the US were they not a main player in the media space. Now it is irrelevant because the media hunts as a pack and is only focused on ‘breaking news’. Pity those, like me, who like investigative and long form fact based journalism. I would like some information on which to base my thinking and my democratic duty. Radio National is being threatened from ‘cutbacks’. Where should a reader go?

  3. klewso

    Is it that much worse than the crap we get from our msm -not least Limited News with it’s agenda – where “entertainment” rules?

  4. Bill Hilliger

    The above article states: facebook and google are not good for democracy which requires a robust and well funded media. Well, well, an organisation like NewsCrap is also not good for democracy. Some years ago due to clever and canny accounting practices managed to lay their hands on som $800 million. Now that is certainly not good for democracy nor the Australian taxpayers. Ha, ha, ha the MSM complaining about false stories need look no further than the TeleCrap stories that have been peddled to a gullible public. Maybe for the MSM the game is finally up. I notice at airports free NewsCrap products are mostly ignored by the travelling public. Given some of the morons working and contributing to that organisation, is it any wonder?

    1. Andrew Seeze

      With it’s current debt levels, Fake News Corp is technically insolvent. Maybe not even technically. If it was n’t for it’s usefulness as just another tentacle of the mass media control mechanism the banks would have sold it up years ago.

  5. AR

    Myriam, that is a dire final line. I’m scared.

  6. Dog's Breakfast

    There’s just a razor thin sliver between News Ltd and these fake news websites, and a Miranda Devine or Piers Akerman article is no better than an IPA research paper or an internet forum discussing who hates lefties the most.

    They’re all trolls.

  7. mary wood

    I find this “post truth” in the MSM and social media quite frightening. With the coalition government (plus friends and Backers) going all out to destroy the ABC I fear they (and we) will live to rue this demolition. The ABC has for many years been voted the most trusted news outlet, and when that is completely gone – not long now – there is no other. As Kevin Rudd found out to his cost when trust has gone it cannot be rebuilt. What will they do when they genuinely need/want to speak to the Australian people, for instance in a time of real crisis, and there is no trusted news outlet. Or when they want to communicate an election policy, or anything else of importance. Good luck with that.

    1. klewso

      The assault on the ABC is like the invasion of Iraq – there’s no plan for what they want to do when it’s raized.
      And Murdoch’s been involved in both – one (as FUX News) embedded to handle the PR and the other because it’s a competitor.

  8. Sally Goldner

    More & more it’s a case of of the old gag: “did you hear about the media outlet who thought ethics was a county in England?”

  9. Evan Denton

    Sick of fake news? Tune in to UK researcher Richard D Hall who has done some impressive work with his series of documentaries investigating the Madeline McCann case. This is a classic case where mainstream media has played a crucial role in perception management. It is exposed for being nothing more than a tightly controlled propaganda machine and gatekeeper of truth.

  10. klewso

    Modern msm, with it’s emphasis on projecting the politics of the presenter (hired and promoted as they are, along ideological lines), is a scourge on society.
    Where news is commodified – to sell ad space and politics.
    Swept into this gutter by the priorities of those paying the bills and wages.

    1. klewso

      Even at the ABC.
      The overt “Lefty” Alberici (- Lateline Feb; 2, this year) – after dealing with “Labor’s stunt”, she goes on to “interview” O’Connor and Dutton – in two different demeanors – hectoring O’Connor with her own facts and faith in Heydon’s findings : while comparatively sanguine to Dutton?
      And this was after the earlier (prerecorded) report on how Bishop had cancelled the passport of the whistle-blower due to attend The Hague to give evidence re the buggery of East Timor?
      Nothing is going to get her to question her faith in the righteousness of her Limited News Party?

Share this article with a friend

Just fill out the fields below and we'll send your friend a link to this article along with a message from you.

Your details

Your friend's details