Life and Communications in the Age of Post-Truth
The major theme of the 2017 International PR-Festival will be «Communications in the Age of Post-Truth»
The term «post-truth» as we know it today was first used by the Serbian American screenwriter and playwright Steve Tesich. In 1992 The Nation magazine published his essay on the Iran–Contra affair and the Persian Gulf War where he lamented that the society had voluntarily agreed to be caught with the hook of information manipulation. «We, as a free people, have freely decided that we want to live in some post-truth world».
The phenomenon of post-truth consists in its variability and diversity. Due to the necessary «treatment» original information is coated with «the required details» and it simultaneously becomes more accessible, understandable and, correspondingly, attractive to the consumer. Whether the facts are true or not does not play a major part. The main thing is to attract attention and to send the necessary information message.
Though the phenomenon of post-truth has existed for many years now, it started to be turned to actively after the Presidential elections in the USA and the EU membership referendum in the UK. So, it is not surprising that the Oxford Dictionary chose «post-truth» to be the word of the year in 2016. «Circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief», is the meaning of the word.
«Longstanding and destructive toying with information in favour of particular persons and clans has made our media space toxic; it is steadily reducing the quality of people’s lives», pointed out Olena Derevyanko, head of the Organizing Committee of the International PR-Festival and vice-president of the Ukrainian PR-League. «Due to the Internet and public networks these processes can be perfectly compared with total radioactive contamination in terms of their negative impact power. And the main problem that we face in the age of post-truth is media illiteracy of the average citizen who trustfully takes another information «bait» and does not see that he/she is gradually becoming a carrier (and a propagator) of the views and values previously alien to them; a fighter for somebody else’s ideals – while neglecting his or her own interests We are going to dwell on what it means for the society and for PR experts at the 2017 Festival».
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.