Is that really a fact staring you in the face? Or is it fake news…an alternative fact? Is it true simply because you want it to be true?

Fake news and ‘alternative facts’ invaded Northern Hemisphere politics during the U.S. presidential election and Brexit. Social media was the breeding ground for falsehoods driven by cynical manipulation and click-bait revenue potential. Mainstream news organisations became unwitting agents when they spread the messages to wider audiences eager to have their prejudices reinforced.

New Zealand is not immune to this post-truth virus and in September we go to the polls. What will be the shape and effect of fake news in our General Election campaign?

To discuss the measures we must take to combat this threat to fair elections the Project for Public Interest Media held a panel discussion at the University of Auckland.

The panel featured: 

  • TVNZ’s political editor Corin Dann
  • Newsroom co-editor Mark Jennings
  • Green Party candidate Chlöe Swarbrick
  • University of Auckland academic Maria Armoudian
  • Media commentator Gavin Ellis

For more of our audio and visual content, check out our YouTube channel, or head to the University of Auckland’s manuscripts and archives collection.

Disclaimer: The ideas expressed in this discussion reflect the views of the guests and not necessarily the views of The Big Q. 

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