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BBC Director: World Is Facing ‘Biggest Assault On Truth Since The 1930s’

“Fake news.” Politicians who clearly lie. Commentators who frequently rail against objectionable truths.

Photo by Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images

There are many signs, in our media and elsewhere in society, of a world that is failing to appreciate how important knowing and understanding truth really is. And it’s a problem that can have grave consequences.

The BBC’s director general Tony Hall, speaking this week about the issue, said that the world is facing “the biggest assault on truth since the 1930s,” according to a report from the BBC itself.

“An assault on truth is an assault on democracy,” Hall said.

It’s imperative that news organizations around the world rededicate themselves to high news standards, and to report on the facts whenever possible. “All those who believe in integrity in news must work together to turn the tide,” he added.

Hall also said that the company he himself works for is ready to be a part of that. “We are ready to do even more to promote freedom of expression worldwide,” he said.

In his own way, President Donald Trump seems to agree, at least on paper. Per previous reporting from HillReporter.com, Trump this week decried what he described as dishonest news companies for being biased.

Yet Trump’s ideas over what constitutes “fake news” probably don’t align with what Hall and others in the media have in mind. As many news outlets have pointed out, including PolitiFact, Trump’s idea of what “fake news” entails more often than not is just him complaining about news coverage he doesn’t agree with or believes paints him in a negative light, even if it is objectionably true.

The term “fake news” was widely used in 2016 during the presidential election to describe disreputable content online that was disseminated on social media and elsewhere. Many times, “fake news” articles appeared to look like real news stories, but were in actuality completely fabricated.

Trump latched onto the term during and after the election, and began to use it to express his dissatisfaction with legitimate reporting from news agencies like CNN, MSNBC, the New York Times, and more.



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