10 January 2019
Proposed Project Title
Disinformation and Media Manipulation
Proposed Research Area
Journalism and Ethics
Media Theories and Media Manipulation
Proposed Research Question
How is fake news used as propaganda?
Rationale for choosing this topic
Most people in the world have been misinformed at some point in their lives. Whether it was due to communication noise such as semantic noise or psychological noise, or even intentionally by a source of information. This paper will see if people are aware that they are being manipulated intentionally or unintentionally, why and how they are being manipulated, and lastly why is disinformation unethical.
Disinformation, or more specific, fake news, is a type of Yellow Journalism or Propaganda consisting of deliberate disinformation or hoaxes spread through broadcast news, traditional print or social media. It can be seen on social media, or sometimes even on television like on Fox News. They can be network producers who are furthering an agenda or even just internet trolls. Internet trolls are people who get satisfaction from provoking reactions from other people online usually with offensive humor disguised as feigned ignorance.
Trolls have a history of manipulating the mass media to call out hypocrites, learning early on how to target public figures and organizations to amplify their efforts through mainstream media. They have often claimed to be apolitical and explained their use of shocking imagery as merely a convenient tool to offend others.
Yellow Journalism that presents little or no legitimate well researched news while instead using eye-catching headlines for increased sales. Techniques include exaggerations of news events, scandal-mongering, or sensationalism. Sensationalism is overhyping present biased impressions on events which may cause manipulation to the truth of a story. They appeal to emotions, are controversial, intentionally leave out facts and information, are loud and self-centred and act to obtain attention. Examples of sensationalism are the OJ Simpson murder case and the Bill Clinton/Monica Lewinsky scandal. Yellow journalism can be spotted when an publication uses: scare headlines in huge print, lavish use of pictures, or imaginary drawings, fake interviews, misleading headlines, pseudoscience and lastly a parade of false learnings from so-called experts.
Propaganda are subjective or one sided messages used to manipulate the public’s perception on an issue or thing, to further an agenda, often by presenting facts selectively. (refer to IMC textbook for more details and examples.Disinformation is false information spread deliberately to deceive.
Clickbait are Text or Images that are designed to entice the users to follow that link and read, view or listen to the linked piece of online content Clickbait headlines or titles typically aim to exploit the “curiosity gap”, providing just enough to satisfy their...