Contending with “Fake News” in 5 EU Countries – Reports from the Field

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The IPI reporting project Contending with “Fake News” explores the dynamic around the “fake news” debate in five EU countries and profiles five initiatives that have adopted innovative solutions to addressing disinformation and building trust in fact-based journalism.

The perceived rise of “fake news” – a ubiquitous term that remains rightly controversial – presents an acute challenge for media outlets and policymakers worldwide. On the one hand, the spreading of false information via print, broadcast and electronic means to mislead, confuse and sensationalise has made it increasingly difficult for the public to decide whom and what to trust. The tide of disinformation threatens to drown out quality reporting based on facts and journalistic inquiry.

On the other hand, raising concerns about “fake news” can also backfire, with politicians employing the term to delegitimise critics and governments – even well-meaning ones – contemplating legislation to counter disinformation that have potentially serious consequences for freedom of expression.

IPI’s reporting project Contending with “Fake News” examines the particular dynamic around the “fake news” debate in five EU countries, offering a look a the sources, styles and goals of disinformation in each country as well as the extent to which that debate has affected public discourse, politics and press freedom.

The series also profiles five initiatives that have adopted innovative solutions to addressing disinformation and building trust in fact-based journalism and that could potentially serve as models for similar efforts elsewhere.