The advent of the New Media has made it possible for any news to spread around the world at top speed. And it is at least as badly protected against manipulation and hoaxes as print media.
In March of this year, the Irish student Shane Fitzgerald was able to expose the media with a deliberate hoax. When the French composer Maurice Jarre died on the 29th of March, the 22 year-old added a forged quote to the article in Wikipedia: “One could say my life itself has been one long soundtrack, (…)”. Not much later, these words appeared in obituaries of the Internet editions of newspapers with renown like the British “The Guardian” all around the world. Since nobody revealed the fraud, Fitzgerald finally pointed it out to a number of editors himself. According to his own version, the student wanted to do research for a sociology paper and find out how fast news was spreading around the world these days, and he had wanted to show how vulnerable today’s media system is to manipulation.
Join the Discussion!
In a brave and humorous way these “hoaxes“ point to the possibilities of manipulation within and with the media. But what about reports that consciously present wrong facts and remain undiscovered? That are offered to us by individuals or even national authorities aiming to direct our opinion in a certain direction, to manipulate and control our point of view?
We would like to discuss with you, our readers and users of different media, as well as with media representatives – journalists, authors and editors – about your experience with the possibilities of news manipulation.
Can a report be considered as a fact, when it is published in the media often enough and without opposition? Who defines the selection of topics? Who possesses the access to information and who is able to disseminate it?
How easy is it to manipulate in the age of New Media? What precautions could and should be made?
What can the readers do? How do I read with critical awareness? What is the responsibility of journalists and publishers?
For those who do not have direct access to the InWent Alumni Portal send your postings to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Join the discussion!
The Alumni Team of InWEnt would like to discuss with you – as reader and user as well as journalist, author or publisher of different media channels – about your experiences with the possibilities of news manipulations.
In our Alumni-Portal and Alumni Newsletter we link you to the discussion platform that is offered and moderated by Kent Mensah, a Web-Editor and Journalist in Accra/Ghana:
The discussion will be held in English from June 18th to 25th on the following platforms:
The Blog by Kent Mensah:
The Alumni Portal: