IdeaFactory: A Survivor’s Guide to a Post-Truth World

IdeaFactory: A Survivor’s Guide to a Post-Truth World

Tuesday 6 June 2017

Fake News, Post-Truth and Indian Journalism

Started 10 months ago

The present scholarly attention on fake news is heavily western centric with limited comparative perspectives. Many of these academic narratives are primarily focused on finding technological solutions to the issue by making the networks and the algorithms more responsible. However, just addressing the technological aspect may not be a viable long-term solution to fake news, especially in media markets like India.  With several instances of Indian mainstream journalists mistaking fake news for real, it can be seen that the issue is not just proliferation, but also how it is perceived by its audience, including journalists.

Any attempts to develop a pedagogic approach to tackle an issue like fake news should be situated in temporal reflexivity, which takes account of the changing contexts of the post-truth reality, rather than focusing too much on a set of the technological advancements making such phenomena like fake news possible. Attempts which seek technologically militant solutions to tackle fake news, in terms of developing algorithms or apps to do it, often lack this. This argument is not meant to downplay the immediate importance of such solutions in fighting the proliferation of fake news. However, attempts with an aggressive focus on imparting training to develop or handle such technological tools may not suffice to facilitate existing journalism education framework to adapt to post-truth realities. Technological solutions pop up and turn invalid over a short span of time unless they sustain with fast-paced updates.