Friday, September 11, 2015

VOTE 2016: When Fiction Becomes Reality

Sometimes a deliberately misleading headline is all it takes for disinformation to take flight 

Once again today, Taiwanese media exhibited the kind of politicization and flexibility with the facts that time and again have served to undermine the credibility of the fifth estate with news consumers here and abroad. As the elections approach, those practices will likely become more frequent and increase the great amount of noise that we must already sift through as we try to make sense of political developments in this critical period in the nation’s history. 

Today’s exhibit is an article in the Chinese-language United Daily News about a conference at the Atlantic Council on Wednesday. As is often the case with Taiwan’s media, the problem isn’t the article itself, but rather the headline that was given it, which in most instances is the only part of an article that has “legs.” In other words, what becomes “news” is what the headline says, and this alone determines whether other media will replicate the news or follow up with their own articles. 

My article, published today on Thinking Taiwan, continues here (photo by the author).

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