Fake news has to be the word – or words, if you’re pedantic – of 2017 so far. You have your ‘proper’ news, and then you have your fake news. It’s either true, or fake, isn’t it?

Well, not really. News is really the current form of history. And history is not the truth, it’s simply someone’s account of what happened. A lot of that depends on your perspective. After all, one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter, right?

News is not black or white, true or fake. There are degrees of it, all the shades in between black and white. It’s one account over another. Or, in today’s world, it’s one person’s edit over another’s. Even in real-time streaming or television it’s one person’s camera angle over another, what they choose to frame in the shot, rather than what another does. Even if you’re in the thick of news or history being made, your view on what’s happening depends on where you are, and your perspective, both literal and otherwise.

The key thing here is that if there are enough people – or people with power – promulgating a certain view of the news, then it becomes harder to analyse fairly, examine and resist that view. That in itself is a very solid form of control that has served governments well since the invention of, well, governments.

 

 

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