Steven Reiner & Anne Kruger: Fake News- SHAME ON YOU!

Steven Reiner and Anne Kruger, professor of Journalism at Stonybrook University School of Journalism, and Anne Kruger, lecturer Journalism and Media Studies Centre, University of Hong Kong have with others produced an online course on News Literacy

They have focussed on the importance of news literacy and the critical role of journalists in respect to the importance of verification. However there is no sense of self awareness. There is no understanding of how the established news media has already created a world of fake news itself and how its complaints are totally undermined by its own behaviour.

We will show how what is at issue is: who is allowed to create fake news and that the established media has lost its ability to monopolise the creation of fake news and is complaining or should one say ‘fighting back’. This might at first seem a rather harsh assessment except that Steven Reiner and Ann Kruger have kindly demonstrated the truth of it in an online course on news literacy.

Wikipedia defines fake news as ‘Fake news is a type of yellow journalism that consists of deliberate misinformation or hoaxes spread via traditional print and broadcast news media or online social media.‘ Note 1

We should therefore not expect to find this on a course on news literacy. 

Note 2

During the course Reiner states: ‘Journalists collect evidence with the goal of providing the most accurate version of events. ‘

.’.., you’ll note that journalism is the only neighborhood that features verification, independence and accountability.

Others have commented: ‘The epidemic of fake news is relatively new but has already largely impacted the way people consume and disseminate information online. ‘ Note 3

KEY ISSUE:

Anne Kruger stated: ‘When Johannes Gutenberg invented movable type 500 some years ago, the printing press made book publishing faster, easier, and cheaper’. Note 4

And yet in the very reading resources we discover this is entirely untrue

He (Gutenberg) didn’t invent printing. He didn’t even invent movable type ….

…Around A.D. 600, the Chinese invented a printing technique using wooden blocks with multiple words to press or rub texts onto paper. A few hundred years later they also developed movable type – with letters rearranged for each new page – but, with over 10,000 common characters in their language, the process was cumbersome and didn’t catch on. A similar situation arose in Korea, where metal typesetting was invented.’

Note 5

… and she must have known it – so this must count as ‘deliberate misinformation’ aka ‘fake news’!

This is not an isolated error because such fake news where they support Western prejudices have been endorsed and repeated by Western Media ad nauseam.

Where can we read that Native Americans arrived in Ireland long before Columbus sailed West and that Columbus actually met them ? Note 6

Where do we teach students the African ancestry of Dumas, Terence , Pushkin and through Pushkin to British Royal Family and Grosvenor family, the top aristocratic family in England (these are all indisputable and that is without delving into controversial territory such as Beethoven) and these are simply some among many. This total silence on the role of Africans in European history and the ability to conceal the African ancestry of any and every major cultural figure (Note 7) is fake news but acceptable fake news because it supports the overwhelming prejudices of many Western intellectuals today to see all important events as produced by White Westerners and to deny and conceal any important role by Africans. Students will assume there is no African ancestry otherwise their teachers would have told them!

So I say to Steven Reiner and Anne Kruger: SHAME ON YOU!

 

 

NOTES

1: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fake_news

2. https://www.coursera.org/learn/news-literacy/home/welcome

3. http://radio.wosu.org/post/fake-news?platform=hootsuite

4: https://www.coursera.org/learn/news-literacy/lecture/XwbqN/communication-models-and-media

5: https://www.livescience.com/2569-gutenberg-changed-world.html

6: The American Discovery of Europe by Jack Forbes

7: This contrasts with the care taken to identify any Jewish ancestry in any one of importance to European history.