Media systems and fake news discussions

The web and smartphones have permanently disrupted traditional media and communications structures over the past ten years. But while long-standing business models have been destroyed, it is less clear what will replace them. The current technologies and social media companies are struggling to deal with distrust and disinformation, which seems to be driven by low barriers to entry for social ‘news’ feeds, the availability of micro-targeting technologies, and human behaviour itself. Voice hacking and deep fakes are also complicating and deepening the problem. How will social approval be affected by the next generation of technologies such as virtual and augmented reality, ubiquitous sensors and hyper connectivity.

Organisations are faced with the challenge of engaging with this fast-changing news and media landscape. The problem of information veracity and the diminishing levels of trust that we place in official (institutional and organisational) information presents a particular challenge for organisations on two levels. First, they need to devise strategies to handle fake news attacks; second, they need to address how to communicate effectively in an increasingly polarised and fragmented media landscape. Both of these issues have significant impacts on the way in which individuals and organisations make their social evaluations. Practitioners would value more active research insight into the way the media landscape is changing, what can be achieved when it comes to appropriate policy responses and governance systems, and some best practice guidance on how to communicate effectively in such environments.

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