A Long and Brutal History of Fake News

Jacob Soll, writing on Politico, writes a spellbinding history of fake news. Worth the read. Fake news ain’t new!

Here’s some of what he wrote (this is the good news):

One silver lining in this long and alarming history of fake news is yellow journalism and its results—from civil violence to war—caused a backlash, and sent the public in search of more objective news. It was this flourishing market that sparked the rise of relatively objective journalism as an industry in turn-of-the century America. For the first time, American papers hired reporters to cover local beats and statehouses, building a chain of trust between local, state and national reporters and the public.

While partisan reporting and sensationalism never went away (just check out supermarket newsstands), objective journalism did become a successful business model—and also, until recently, the dominant one.

Let us hope that we experience such a backlash today.

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