Introduction to Popular Culture Studies

Fake News! (Or Not)

Posted by Drake Kizer on April 5, 2017

Today’s readings were a compilation of essays from the Spreadable Media website. The constant switching back and forth from our textbook to the online platform has been confusing as far as keeping up with assignments, but it has definitely kept things interesting. I noticed that the collection of essays was situated under a new heading on the syllabus: “Designing for Spreadability”. Our previous section on meaningful participation was quite drawn-out, so a change-of-pace is somewhat welcome, although last section wasn’t so bad.

There were only two different essays for us to read in this section, and while they were both pretty interesting and engaging, the one that stuck out to me the most was “Learning to Be a Responsible Circulator” by Christopher Weaver and our esteemed instructor, Sam Ford. The essay speaks at length about one of the biggest issues facing every person in the world today: “When everyone is somebody, then no one’s anybody.” That very fact leads to the essay’s main point of discussion, which is the issue of credibility in a culture that’s “more participatory” than ever before. “Don’t believe everything you read” is more relevant now than ever.

As the essay says, credibility was easy to assess in bygone eras due to the fact that if a source of information was not reputable and well-vetted, then they would never reach the press or the airwaves. That has completely changed in today’s media environment, however, due to the fact that “the number of published voices [has grown] exponentially.” In the past, we could all agree about credibility because as long as a reputable corporation or entity was allowing it to be published, we figured the information we consumed was “trustworthy by association.” Today, though, that is not true, because anyone can report, write, film, or otherwise create content that is as wide-reaching and prone to be seen as content that originated from a major entity. In today’s media environment, most media are not “[vetted and curated]”, and so consumers have to be mindful of their consumption habits.


2 Responses to “Fake News! (Or Not)”

  1. tristendenney14 said

    I really like this post Drake because the ideas are so true in today’s society. I still to this day don’t quite understand the point behind “fake news”, and it honestly kind of hurts society since anyone can post something and become well-known in such a short amount of time. Also, it is scary that even major entities in the news industry are sometimes not even completely truthful about what they share. Therefore, I believe we need to resort back to ideas of past eras, and try to focus more on publishing real news, instead of causing drama through fake news.

  2. Kimberlea Ferrell said

    I love your post! It really does seem that today people are just concerned with drama or a hot new story, instead of fact checking and reporting real news for the public.

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