Partisan media and fake newsonomics - The Listening Post (Feature)


This week, the Listening Post's Tariq Nafi takes a look at a kind of journalism that is a close cousin of 'fake news' - the sort of reporting that tells people what they want to hear, as opposed to what they need to know; reporting that reinforces partisan opinions rather than challenging them.

As a recent Buzzfeed investigation revealed, it's the kind of output that a Miami-based company called American News LLC specialises in. It does so not for ideological reasons, but for commercial ones. So it often covers the same story two different ways, sending a liberal, lefty version of it into one side of the blogosphere, while conservatives get a different take, dotted with right wing arguments and buzzwords that push their buttons.

Sometimes it isn't just ideologically filtered, it's also flat out fake.

Companies like American News LLC get plenty of clicks because according to a study, it takes just a few believers to set off a news item on the social web.

Consumers are often much less concerned about the outlet doing the reporting - where the story originated
- than they are about who does the actual sharing, whose Facebook feed you find it on, whose tweet takes you to the article or which friend sends it your way.

Craig Silverman, media editor, Buzzfeed
Sara Fischer, media reporter, Axios
Brooke Binkowski, manging editor and freelance journalist, Snopes
Matthew Levendusky, associate professor of political science, UPenn

Al Jazeera
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