Making Sense of Media Lies


Deconstructing Fake News to Understand its Genesis

Often the prosumer (producer who also is the consumer and vice versa) market culture of social media platforms, along with their lack of strong editorial policies, are held responsible for the misinformation epidemic. Though the role of social media in spreading the misinformation is quite evident, this doesn’t mean traditional media is completely innocent and one should not let them off the hook. ‘We have a bad news problem, not a fake news problem,’ says David Mikkelson, journalist and founder of renowned fact-checking organisation Snope. It is important to examine how outfits that label themselves as media organisations (print, electronic and online), despite having a strong editorial set up in place, often peddle a distorted discourse in India.

To study the distorted media realities in our country and how it manages to shake up the citizen’s ability to process his/her immediate environment, the author conducted an academic research titled Deconstructing Media Lies, last year. It was submitted to the Department of Media and Communication Studies, Savitribai Phule Pune University in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the degree of Master of Media and Communication Studies. The research is a telling commentary on how unconfirmed, often tendentious, information is now a part of the news narrative in India.


Akhilesh Patil

October-December, 2018