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Fake news! The Senator Fraser Anning saga

By Spencer Gear - posted Wednesday, 3 October 2018

Collins Dictionary's word of the year in 2017 was 'fake news', which meant 'false, often sensational, information disseminated under the guise of news reporting' (Collins Dictionary 2018. s.v. fake news).

President Trump speaks of fake news that has morphed into the phrase, 'Enemy of the people'.

Egypt has enacted 'fake news' legislation, as have France, Belarus, Russia, and Singapore. Malaysia has rescinded fake news laws with its new government.


1. Definitions

What is fake news? 'The BBC defines fake news as false information distributed deliberately, usually for political or commercial purposes'.

So, fake news is false, sensational reporting of information that is supposed to be news' journalism. But it is used deliberately for other purposes.

Have we seen it crafted in our Australian culture in a recent political example.

2. Four steps to generate fake news

These are four steps that I've identified:

Step 1: Somebody makes a statement about any issue.

Step 2: Others breed false information about this statement.


Step 3: This false information is spread through the media as newsworthy journalism. In Australia, MPs have joined in.

Step 4: Conclusion: Fake news is created.

Let's follow this story.

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About the Author

Spencer Gear PhD (University of Pretoria, South Africa) is a retired counselling manager, independent researcher, retired minister of the The Christian & Missionary Alliance of Australia, and freelance writer living in Brisbane Qld, Australia.

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