SAFREA Western Cape event takes an honest look at #FakeNews
SAFREA Western Cape held a captivating event last week inside the beautiful and historic Sir Herbert Baker building at 6 Spin Street in Cape Town.
Lauren Green, senior analyst at BrandsEye, and Herman Wasserman, professor of media studies at UCT, spoke about the fake news phenomenon and ventured to unpack some of the most current trends we see both here in South Africa and abroad, to a room full of media freelancers.
Lauren began the evening by asking the audience “How do we classify fake news?” “For the average consumer,” she explained, “that’s a tricky question.”
Speaking about the role consumers play, Lauren dissected the individual response to and dissemination of fake news, describing to the audience its emotive influence.
In keeping with the theme, Herman gave an equally interesting talk that focused on the fake news invasion and the post-truth era in which we have found ourselves living. “There seems to be a boundary we’ve crossed,” said Herman. “The well-known examples of alternative facts are worrying as these are seen by a global audience.”
Both speakers stressed the emotional response that fake news elicits and why, as individuals, we feel compelled to believe such stories.
Audience members asked engaging questions that encouraged a discussion around how consumers and journalists distinguish between real and fake news, how to combat it, and how writers must work to make real news interesting.
By the end of the night, it was clear that there was still much more to discuss in the way of fake news. SAFREA was delighted to discover the number of ideas this theme sparked for future events –such as content influenced by advertising, confirmed belief, and the use of statistics in the media.
SAFREA Western Cape thanks everyone who joined us for the evening. We look forward to seeing even more of you in May when we host our next event with Eitan Stern from Legalese – he’ll be speaking on the ins and outs of Legal and Tax for Freelancers.