Fifteen MA students from the Department of War Studies have collaborated with NATO to publish the first definitive study of ‘fake news’. Their book, Fake News: A Roadmap, suggests that although ‘fake news’ is not new, rising populism means that it now has greater power to manipulate and deceive.
Jente Althuis, War Studies, explained: "Fake news is a very highly discussed topic at the moment, which is becoming increasingly problematic in today’s society."
Fake news is the dissemination of false information, via media channels. This can be intentional, to mislead or deceive the audience. It can also be the result of an honest mistake or negligence.
Students studying Strategic Communications at King’s have analysed the issue, aiming to inject clarity into the confusion that fake news can cause, and exploring how it impacts modern politics.
They suggest that citizens face a greater variety of, sometimes contradictory, information, across a wider range of media.
News outlets face pressure to post stories quickly, increasing the risk of accidental false information, whilst those purposefully spreading ‘fake news’ take advantage of growing scepticism towards academia, journalism and science.
The students conclude that, rather than ‘telling people what to think’, democratic governments should regulate to control the spread of false information. The media may also need to begin actively justifying their credibility and trustworthiness, rather than relying on a tradition of legitimacy and authority that they once held. Fundamentally, countering fake news must involve many parts of society.
See the book’s editors discussing the process of producing the book: