Polish journalism scholar: Use history vs fake news

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A POLISH journalism scholar urged journalism students on Monday to review history and read books to counter the proliferation of fake news and revisionism.

Monika Szetela, a visiting professor from the College of Social and Media Culture in Toruń, Poland, said “rereading history” was necessary to fight disinformation.

“I think that journalists must know a little bit [about] everything, not only about their history but also about [their economic and] political situations … not only history but the [truth] is important, we need to know what is the [truth in order] to recognize what is fake and what is true. So we need to have a great knowledge about everything,” Szetela told the Varsitarian in an interview.

Szetela said everyone who uses the Internet could be responsible for spreading fake news because people have the tendency to follow and “crave” for headlines that are sensationalized.

“We should [stop clicking on] those stupid information, we should deny to spread the information through Facebook, to share it with each other because some [of its contents] are stupid and funny [and] we like to share funny things, and this is something that [spoils] us,” she said during the 2nd John Jefferson Siler Forum at the Thomas Aquinas Research Complex auditorium.

Journalists should read not just articles on social media but also books as doing so would help distinguish between real and fake content online, she said.

“Instead of reading [on] Facebook and reading [on] the Internet, read a book because in those books there is a great knowledge … and you will be able to distinguish what fake news [are] by reading good books,” she said.

The forum, titled, “Online Journalism and ‘Fake News’: The EU Experience,” was organized by the UST Journalism Program and the UST Journalism Society.

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