PR pros’ role in the fake news epidemic

Are you OK with clickbait headlines and subjective reporting, as long as you’ve gotten the media coverage you covet? Here’s why such attitudes have perpetuated the problem, one pro argues.

By we, I mean ordinary citizens, journalists and those of us who feed the news cycle.

Many ordinary citizens accept a headline as truth without ever reading the article or doing any research to confirm its contents. Some journalists have gotten away from objective reporting, selling sensational headlines and speculation for clicks. Too many powerful news organizations on both sides of the aisle push agendas they must uphold, cherry-picking facts that support inherent bias. Many PR pros are totally fine with spin, as long as it gets placements and may lead to more money in their budget.

So, how did we get here?

1. Historical propaganda. Fake news isn’t new. Countless examples of biased, fact-twisting articles, political propaganda and sensational stories can be found throughout history. Dating back before Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press, fake news has been used to slant opinions for the purpose of gaining power and influence.

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