The Oxford Dictionaries named “post-truth” as the Word of the Year 2016. It is an adjective defined as ‘relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” This attitude of readers choosing their own beliefs over facts has been a huge problem that beset journalism in the past year, with media outlets trying to regain readers’ trusts and debunking false news from dubious digital sites. Here is a list of initiatives to combat fake news that have popped up in response to this challenge.
The media, civil society, and democracy are under unprecedented duress around the world. Protecting the independent media and the public sphere presents an “epic challenge,” but there is great opportunity for philanthropy to step up and help. Bruce Sievers and Patrice Schneider detail five avenues worth pursuing in funding news media and argue that charitable donors should significantly increase their investment in the media.
When he was laid off from Folha de S. Paulo in 2014, political reporter and columnist Fernando Rodrigues did not stop his behind-the-scenes coverage of power in Brasilia. He continued to write for his blog, which he had kept for 14 years, and to participate in a radio show. Shortly thereafter, he launched his own company, an innovative startup that has been growing, making profits and hiring journalists.
Many media investors see disaster everywhere they look, as traditional media lose audience, revenues, and relevance. However, the importance of media is “absolutely obvious” and media companies need more support from democratic societies than they are getting.