Research Papers Library

Fake News: Public Policy Responses

An apparent proliferation of inaccurate and misleading news stories has led to calls for new policy interventions, from fact checking by social media companies to new laws imposing fines for posting or sharing fake news. This raises some difficult issues in media policy. Is this a new problem? Is so called ‘fake news’ distinct from longstanding problems with accuracy or objectivity in journalism? Is the controversy rather a response to the scale of current political changes, and their impact on various interested parties? Are there fundamental changes going on in our Western media systems which undermine traditional journalistic crafts of fact checking and verification, and incentivise more emotionally resonant content, at the expense of quality, reliable journalism?

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