18 September 2021
4.5 out of 5.0 stars
I had booked this one a long time ago, and it finally went ahead! I also happened to have booked on a day when the show was followed by a Q&A, which I wasn’t aware of until it was announced that evening.
Osman Baig is a journalist who his dipping his toes into being a playwright and actor, to great success. Fake News is set up like a Ted talk-esque lecture by a senior editor at fictional news media “The Millennial Times”, talking to a group of new interns. Quickly the talk starts to explore how having to make news profitable in our internet-dominated lives has changed journalism and how poorly researched stories with click-baity headlines can often rake in a lot more engagement than true stories ever could.
Fake News asks a lot of question about modern journalism, without answering any, thus sparking enthusiastic debate afterwards.
For the Q&A Baig was joined by Mevan Babakar, deputy CEO of Full Fact, an independent fact checking agency in the UK who hold media and politicians to account for the things they say. This Q&A was delightfully interesting, both speaking a lot about journalistic integrity, how to combat fake stories, what can be done to support fact checking, and still not answering very many questions about how we could divorce news media from the need to be profitable.
I really enjoyed being presented with so many viewpoints and explanations that really didn’t veer one way or another, but just presented a story that engaged the viewers in deeper thought about journalism and integrity. What a beautiful way to ask questions while leaving it up to the viewer to come to their own conclusions. A brilliant show that I’d definitely see again and recommend to anyone who has been complaining about the state of our world and “mass media manipulation”.
Also head on over to Full Fact and support their wonderful work!