In late 2016, Oxford Dictionaries announced that “post-truth” had been chosen as the 2016 word of the year, defining it as a condition “in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” The two key events of 2016 – Brexit and the election of Donald Trump – signal a dark moment for the press, leaving many around the world deeply alarmed. The rise of fake news, attacks on the media by the administration of Donald Trump, have created a uniquely perilous time for journalism. Some argue that journalism is in danger of being overwhelmed by rogue, populistic politics and a communications revolution (ie the rise of social media) that accelerates the spread of lies, misinformation and dubious claims.
In this context, what can mainstream media organisations do? How do they maintain people’s trust and credibility? How can mainstream media use social media tools to defend the truth, present the correct information and balance opinions?