At a rally in Pennsylvania on August 2, 2018, U.S. President Donald Trump pointed at journalists saying ‘they are the fake, fake disgusting news.” (CBC)

‘Fake news’ label threatens journalism, threatens people: BBC chief

News organizations around the world are acting to foster trust and to fight accusations that they produce fake news. Misuse of the term fake news has become the weapon of choice of “repressive regimes,” said BBC Chief Tony Hall to The Guardian newspaper last week.

‘Electorate effectively disenfranchised’

The New York Times published an editorial on Aug. 16, 2018 as part of a campaign involving some 350 U.S. newspapers pushing back against Donald Trump’s attacks on news organizations. (Mark Lennihan/AP Photo/file)

‘Undermining trust in an entire news establishment’

“The term fake news is…used politically by public figures and politicians to try to discredit the news with which they disagree,” says Sara Bannerman, Canada Research Chair in Communication Policy and Governance at McMaster University. “That may be one of the most dangerous…usages (of the term) of all because it risks undermining trust in an entire news establishment.”

Hall promised the BBC will step up its fact-checking and it is sending reporters to teach students how to recognize falsehoods in news stories. It also plans to take these education efforts around the world, beginning with India and Africa.

CBC joins ‘The Trust Project’

In Canada, the public broadcaster, CBC, has joined 19 other news organizations committed to enhancing transparency that will help audiences decide whether the news they present is credible.

“I think it’s a very important issue,” says Bannerman. “I think fake news can actually be very difficult to identify. While people often a lot of confidence in their ability to recognize fake news when they see it, sometimes that confidence is misplaced. One study showed that people who saw fake news believed it 75 per cent of the time and that’s a worrying statistic if that’s the case.

“Fake news is easily believed and hard to correct.”

Sara Bannerman defines fake news and describes the dangers of politicians using the term to discredit those it disagrees with.


CBC gives these examples of its trust indicators on its website:

  • Linking to our Journalistic Standards and Practices (JSP) at the bottom of story pages.
  • Author bylines and author pages.
  • Clear labelling of stories (Analysis, Opinion, etc.).
  • Corrections policy, including publishing corrections on stories.
  • Citations and references.
  • A public report on our diversity.
  • Methods (on some data journalism stories).
  • Publishing our newsroom JSP and diversity policies.
Categories: Politics, Society
Tags: , , , , ,

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

@*@ Comments

Leave a Reply

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet Netiquette guidelines.

When you express your personal opinion in an online forum, you must be as courteous as if you were speaking with someone face-to-face. Insults and personal attacks will not be tolerated. To disagree with an opinion, an idea or an event is one thing, but to show disrespect for other people is quite another. Great minds don’t always think alike—and that’s precisely what makes online dialogue so interesting and valuable.

Netiquette is the set of rules of conduct governing how you should behave when communicating via the Internet. Before you post a message to a blog or forum, it’s important to read and understand these rules. Otherwise, you may be banned from posting.

  1.’s online forums are not anonymous. Users must register, and give their full name and place of residence, which are displayed alongside each of their comments. reserves the right not to publish comments if there is any doubt as to the identity of their author.
  2. Assuming the identity of another person with intent to mislead or cause harm is a serious infraction that may result in the offender being banned.
  3.’s online forums are open to everyone, without regard to age, ethnic origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
  4. Comments that are defamatory, hateful, racist, xenophobic, sexist, or that disparage an ethnic origin, religious affiliation or age group will not be published.
  5. In online speak, writing in ALL CAPS is considered yelling, and may be interpreted as aggressive behaviour, which is unpleasant for the people reading. Any message containing one or more words in all caps (except for initialisms and acronyms) will be rejected, as will any message containing one or more words in bold, italic or underlined characters.
  6. Use of vulgar, obscene or objectionable language is prohibited. Forums are public places and your comments could offend some users. People who use inappropriate language will be banned.
  7. Mutual respect is essential among users. Insulting, threatening or harassing another user is prohibited. You can express your disagreement with an idea without attacking anyone.
  8. Exchanging arguments and opposing views is a key component of healthy debate, but it should not turn into a dialogue or private discussion between two users who address each other without regard for the other participants. Messages of this type will not be posted.
  9. Radio Canada International publishes contents in five languages. The language used in the forums has to be the same as the contents we publish or in one of the two official languages, English or French. The usage of other languages, with the exception of some words, is forbidden. Messages that are off-topic will not be published.
  10. Making repetitive posts disrupts the flow of discussions and will not be tolerated.
  11. Adding images or any other type of file to comments is forbidden. Including hyperlinks to other websites is allowed, as long as they comply with netiquette. Radio Canada International  is in no way responsible for the content of such sites, however.
  12. Copying and pasting text written by someone else, even if you credit the author, is unacceptable if that text makes up the majority of your comment.
  13. Posting any type of advertising or call to action, in any form, to Radio Canada International  forums is prohibited.
  14. All comments and other types of content are moderated before publication. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to refuse any comment for publication.
  15. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to close a forum at any time, without notice.
  16. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to amend this code of conduct (netiquette) at any time, without notice.
  17. By participating in its online forums, you allow Radio Canada International to publish your comments on the web for an indefinite time. This also implies that these messages will be indexed by Internet search engines.
  18. Radio Canada International has no obligation to remove your messages from the web if one day you request it. We invite you to carefully consider your comments and the consequences of their posting.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *