Have you ever read something online that you're not sure is actually true?
Columnist Bronwyn Nortje argues that free internet content gives rise to fake news mongers, which casts doubt on reputable news organisations.
Nortje says that the increase of fake news stories can make readers more reluctant to believe credible headlines.
Because the proliferation of fake news has become so mainstream, it has cast doubt on all types of news.— Bronwyn Nortje, columnist
At the same time, she advises that people are quick to share fake stories - without even reading them - because the articles reinforce their existing views.
She describes this as confirmation bias.
Nortje unpacks the importance of paywalls, fake news propaganda and more.
Take a listen to her detailed analysis:
Meanwhile, media expert William Bird says fake news publications can be subject to legal action in some cases.
However, Bird says the law alone will not resolve the issue. He says that news organisations need to work towards building trust and value with citizens.
Here's how fake news publications tend to get away with it: They;
- tend not to name sources
- make up the names of journalist
- sometimes copy directly from more reputable news sites
He says South Africans need to be on their toes, while journalists need to be more transparent to improve the quality of their news.
Think before you click share... The importance of critical journalism is so fundamental to this new digital era.— William Bird, Executive Director of Media Monitoring Africa
Take a listen:
Also read: [GUIDE] How to stop falling for fake news.