Lesson 2: Fake News Content

President Donald Trump popularized the term “fake news,” using it to describe negative news coverage during the campaign and after his 2016 election.  After Trump’s inauguration ceremony, media disputed whether the audience size was accurately reflected in his description of the enormous crowd. Responding to the inauguration coverage, Press Secretary Kellyanne Conway coined the term “alternative facts” (Fandos, 2017). 

Since Trump took office, his accusations of “fake news” coverage have increased and his description of what is “fake” has expanded. According to Keith (2018), Trump’s tweets about news that he deems “fake,” “phoney,” or “fake news” has increased both in scope and frequency. These tweets reference “fake books,” “fake dossier,” “Fake CNN,” and “fudged news reports.” An NPR Analysis of Trump’s tweets found that he included the words “fake news” in 389 posts (Keith, 2018). Not only has media content been called into question, but trusted news organizations have been labeled as “fake news” providers.

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