I recently signed up for an online course called Hidden Facts: Creative Fiction, Non-Fiction, and Facts. The additional resources provided as part of the reading for the course included six links, three of which were about fake news.
In 2017, Professor Charlie Beckett wrote that fake news may have been “the best thing that’s happened to journalism”.
Like how Ryan Holiday says that “the obstacle is the way”, Beckett saw the fake news obstacle as an opportunity for quality journalism to set itself apart.
“It gives mainstream quality journalism the opportunity to show that it has value based on expertise, ethics, engagement and experience,” Beckett wrote.
During my time as a journalist, there were times when I did feel like we’d become too complacent. We expected to be believed. The emergence of fake news was a “wake up call”, wrote Beckett.
“To be more transparent, relevant, and to add value to people’s lives.”
He also saw it as an opportunity for the development of new business models like fact checking and myth busting.
And he’s right. In the last couple of years, I’ve seen quite a number of pieces and courses about how to fact-check, how to spot fakes. There have been more regulations and tools and policies emerging. There’s been more emphasis on data-driven journalism.
Perhaps journalism is more antifragile than we realise.