Trust but Verify. FactCheck as an integral information filter in the age of post-truth
FactCheck as an integral information filter in the age of post-truth
The panel discussion «FactCheck Technologies and Reliability of the Mass Media Information» is to be held within the framework of the morning part of the agenda of the XV International PR-Festival.
FactCheсk («checking the facts») is a technique employed by journalists and editors-in-chief that is currently taking on importance not only for the mass media. Determining veracity and correctness of information is an integral part of the ins and outs of journalism and an important part of a particular medium’s image; its result characterizes the level of the material’s quality. Even if it comes to tabloids, veracity and impartiality of presenting the material is not completely ignored.
However, in the age of post-truth it has become acceptable for inaccurate information to be presented as true in order to manipulate the public opinion.
«Our society is practically indiscriminate in terms of information perception», – says Olena Derevyanko, head of the Organizing Committee of the International PR-Festival and vice-president of the Ukrainian PR-League. «The main thing is that it should be correctly «served». A bright wrap shaped like a high-sounding banner, two or three canards processed accordingly, the intrigue of the «Wait until you see!» kind, «a pinch of pepper» of the mainstream criticism – and «the dish» is sure to be popular with the general public. And the «recipe», i.e. the information pattern, will definitely be passed from hand to hand. And to brain (or whatever substitutes for it for the «intellectual» majority). The role of the truth is minimal. In fact, the more absurd the content is, the greater the appetite is».
That is why today, when the facts are easily substituted for by fakes and factoids, the main weapon of both experts and average consumers of information is doubt, logic and common sense.
Olena Derevyanko thinks, «Can we consider fact-checking to be a 100 percent «serum» for information poisoning? Most probably, no. But it can be used as an auxiliary diagnostic tool like, say, a tonometer or a thermometer. Not consuming information indiscriminately, we already get a chance not to become absolute hostages of information manipulators. By the way, the main responsibility for establishing the relations between the society and the reality is handled today by PR experts. We have knowledge and experience to separate the wheat from the tares in the information space and using the logic «by contradiction» to carry out the aforesaid fact-checking. Subtracting the false part from the post-truth we get a certain asymptotic approximation to the reality».
Leading experts in communications will be analyzing the technologies and effectiveness of fact-checking at the XV International PR-Festival: Denis Bezliudko, development director of the Internet project Realist; Ihor Darmostuk, Editor-in-Chief of KievVlast online magazine; Svetlana Kriukova, deputy editor of Strana.ua; Olena Martynova, strategic marketing director at «1+1» channel; the political scientist Dmytro Kasianov; the independent expert Oleksandr Klimashevskiy.
The discussion is going to be fascinating and informative.
We would like to remind our readers that the International PR-Festival is traditionally held under the auspices of the Ukrainian PR-League; its organizational partner general is PR-Service Agency that has been the leader of the Ukrainian PR services market for many years.