Fake News in Mainstream Journalism
In 1973, Guy Rais of the Telegraph famously made up a story about the air crash of the “Concordski”. Inventions were part of the old Fleet Street culture. Recent falsifications include the Mail’s “human rights fiasco”, Sunday Times’ allegations against Michael Foot, and Rolling Stone’s “gang rape”. Deliberate fakes have included the Hitler Diaries, Janet Cooke, Stephen Glass, Jayson Blair, Jack Kelley, and Carlton TV. With the spread of online news faking and political lying, the way is thus open for factual investigative journalism to be discredited generally as “lügenpresse”—a revived Nazi term. This should be combatted by policing other journalists, calling out the lies of powerful people, admitting to mistakes, and building an honest brand.
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