Media Misinformation: The Past, Present, and Future of Fake News

Course Code: CULT 4000

Academic Year: 2021-2022

We often hear accusations from public figures that news stories about them are "fake" or "lies." But is this really true? What leads to the creation of allegedly "fake news," and how can we distinguish it from legitimate news reporting? This course will look at the long and varied history of misinformation in the news media; the political economy of fake news; "fake news" and its potential effects on audiences; the potential effect of misinformation on liberal democratic institutions; and how the future of journalism is challenged by increasingly convincing and pervasive forms of "fake news." The course is designed to strengthen the critical thinking and media literacy skills of students by getting them to analyze the meaning and significance of so-called "fake news." It will also provide the students with a perspective on the history and future of journalism. Note: Students benefit from taking a lower level course in the Society, Culture and Commerce category prior to enrolling in this upper level course.