Recently, the Columbia Journalism Review conducted an experiment to convince people to “take responsibility for the news they consume.” To do this, CJR set up a newsstand in midtown Manhatten, but instead of stocking it with real titles they replaced them with misinformation pulled from the internet.
The headlines were outrageous, but they were all pulled from the “dark recesses of the internet” and made to look tangible: “Trump claims America should have never given Canada its independence,” said one; “Texas now recognized as a Mexican state,” claimed another; “Toddler fight club: Parents outraged after daycare got busted running kids fight club.”
Watch the video to see what happened next:
A great fear in journalism right now is that people are having trouble differentiating between real and fake, wrote CJR in their story about the experiment. “In this fight, real journalism is outgunned. The tedious, time-consuming business of fact-checking and documenting misinformation is dramatically slower, and its dwarfed in size, by the bad information journalism is trying to correct.
“So the onus has to be on our audience to take some responsibility for what they watch and read. Our readers, watchers, and listeners have to be the first line of misinformation defense.”
Read more here and watch as readers are confronted with the headlines. “Most said the experiment forced them to think about the news, which was the point.”