"Fake News" is not a fight over Truth but rather a fight over Power. 2016 was the "Year of the Hoax" disguised as truth. Fake news and the proliferation of opinion that passes for news is creating confusion, punching holes in what is true, and leading us to doubt everything branded as "news." An analysis by BuzzFeed found that false election stories from hoax sites and hyperpartisan blogs generated more engagement than content from real news sites during the last three months of the election. In this course we will examine the difference between "fake news", satire, opinion, slanted journalism, propaganda and factual news reporting. We will look at the rise of the fake news phenomenon, how and why it has gone viral and its actual and potential consequences.
Beverly Crawford is professor emerita in International and Area Studies and the Travers Department of Political Science at UC Berkeley, where she is also the Director of the Center for German and European Studies. Her publications focus on Germany, German foreign policy, the European Union, globalization’s impact on the United States, globalization and cultural conflict, and international political economy.