Fake news: how did we get here?

    LISTEN: 3 experts weigh in on fake news and how to survive in a ‘post-truth’ world

    By Niall McKenna on January 27, 2017

    Getting to the truth is harder in the era of post-truth. How do we tell fact from fabrication?
    Image credit: iStock

    Hoaxes, scams, tall tales and outright lies have been around since humans first learned to speak. But 2016 — and 2017 so far — have seen untruth rise to a whole new level. (You know it’s really bad when Trump’s new White House press secretary, at his first news conference, delivers “alternative facts” — ahem, falsehoods — to the media.)

    With Oxford Dictionary naming “post-truth” as word of the year for 2016 and fact-checking sites registering “false” on countless politicians’ claims, the average person might question whether accuracy and fact even matter anymore in our society. And, perhaps more importantly, how to sort out what’s real and what’s fabricated.

    Thought Box asked a media expert, a psychologist and a journalist to offer their thoughts on truth and post-truth in a panel conversation: Tim Currie, ’06 MA, director of University of King’s College School of Journalism; Jason Harley, assistant professor in UAlberta’s Department of Educational Psychology; and Paula Simons, ’86 BA, Edmonton Journal columnist.

    [Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in the panel discussion are those of the panelists and not of the University of Alberta]

    Listen to the full discussion or skip to the highlights below:

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    Recorded on January 5, 2017
    Music credit: Hep Cats by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
    Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

    Learn More

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