WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Fake News & Yellow Journalism

Feb 18, 2020

The Atlantic reported on what it called the largest-ever study of fake news.  And the publication called the findings "grim."

The Atlantic reported that the study authors found a false story is much more likely to go viral than a real story. The study found a false story reaches 1,500 people six times quicker, on average, than a true story does. And fake news about politics regularly does best.

The Shop Talk panelists said stories that are shocking and/or funny are more likely to get someone’s attention than serious news. They said that’s nothing new – yellow journalism has been around for more than a century. The online platforms are just new vehicles for getting people to look at sensationalized stories.

Shop Talk is a weekly panel discussion about journalism issues.  This week’s program featured Will Buss, who teaches in the Department of Broadcasting and Journalism at Western Illinois University and advises the student editors at the Western Courier, the students at student radio station The Dog, and the WIU chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists; Rajvee Subramanian, who teaches in the Department of Broadcasting and Journalism at Western Illinois University; and TSPR News Director Rich Egger.

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