Apr 5, 2017

Fake news is not new, and a Senate inquiry into it would be a colossal waste of time

Lies, distortions and propaganda have been around for centuries, writes former SMH editor-in-chief and UTS professor of journalism Peter Fray.

Holding a Senate inquiry into fake news, as floated by Labor’s Sam Dastyari, would be a waste of time, money and good intentions.

It smacks of the me-too-ism of the Finkelstein review into media regulation five years ago. That was inspired by criminal behaviour by tabloid Murdoch hacks in London -- with a very different media culture -- and the then-Labor government’s need to keep then-Greens leader Bob Brown happy.

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

5 thoughts on “Fake news is not new, and a Senate inquiry into it would be a colossal waste of time

  1. klewso

    Is fake news anything more than amateurs aping the professionals – paid for their distorted accounts/versions of reality?

    1. Peter Fray

      That’s a large part of it; aping as in copying the frames but not the actual intent of journalism. And there is Trump

  2. AR

    Thanks for that thoughtful piece.
    What Klewi said – more journo. grads. work as PR flaks for pollies or BigBiz (as if there is much of a difference) than in what was once the life blood of a free press – long dead ecept for a few online ‘zines & legacy/trust funded old crocks like the grauniad, now a mere shadow of its former self.
    Showing my age & decrepitude/irrelevance now but I am devastates that so many now receive their ‘news’ via FarceBuch et al.
    Who was it said that capitalism will eat itself?

  3. MAC TEZ

    Rupert’s been pumping out fake news across the globe for forty or so years now, nothing new in that.

    1. Ben.

      Peter Fray used to help him do it at The Australian, but left that part off his bio.

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