“Deconstructing De-legitimization of Mainstream Media as Sources of Authentic News in the Post-Truth Era”

A new article was publishedd in Communicatio: South African Journal for Communication Theory and Research by Moses Ofome Asak and Tshepang Bright Molale, researchers at North West University in South Africa, that explores the publication of “fake news reportage” on two South African newspapers.

Here is the abstract of the article:

At a time in press history, there was a great attraction for the tabloid format of newspapers because of its report of sensationalism from the days of inception as Penny Press in the United States of America. Although that appeal still holds globally, this is only one form of news reporting. For a long time, the connotation of mainstream media has been associated with professional news reporting built on facts, as evidenced in hard news reporting. But emphasis seems to have shifted to an equation of sensationalism with all mainstream media as a result of the exponential progression of fake news in recent times. The paper aims to de-emphasise the perception that mainstream media are the major purveyors of fake news. Conspiracy theory and social responsibility theory were used as theoretical leanings. Content analysis of two major newspapers (the City Press and the Mail & Guardian) was conducted to ascertain instances of fake news reportage for a three-month period at the height of “white monopoly capital” narratives in South Africa. Findings reveal that news reporting in South Africa is still guided by tenets of professional journalism.