Stop fake news? Culture, school and a free, strong and “slow” press

At the National Museum of Science and Technology Leonardo da Vinci in Milan, the International Corporate Communication HUB was held yesterday, which presented the research report entitled ‘Fake news: perceptions, actors and strategies’ created by the IULM University through the Research Center for Strategic Communication, scientific partner for Hub, in collaboration with the University of Friborg and the City University of New York.

The study was conducted with a dual purpose: on the one hand to understand what citizens’ perceptions of fake news are, and in particular, what is the seriousness of the phenomenon, who are the actors responsible for their spread and who should work to stop them; on the other hand, to evaluate which corporate and government communication strategies are considered to be most appropriate to mitigate the effect of fake news on citizens’ trust in companies and institutions.

Fake news research: perceptions, actors and strategies

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The starting point for the International Corporate Communication HUB is the spread of fake news, which has grown alarmingly in recent years, and their danger of influencing public opinion is becoming more and more apparent in the political world and is also beginning to show in business, where fake news risks undermining companies’ many years of work to build a solid reputation.

To the introductory greetings of Mayor Sala were added the greetings of the Councilor for Economic Development and Labor Policy in the Municipality of Milan, Alessia Cappello, who introduced the procedure as follows: “Democracies suffer from the impact of fake news on everyday reality. What can be done to protect democracies and politics? Two things above all: first of all culture, school, study, information and then a free and strong press that helps to act as a barrier to fake news’.

After the speech by Stefano Lucchini, Chairman of the ICCH Advisory Board: “We are facing a phenomenon that has always existed in the past, even though it was called by other names. Today, the development of technologies and social media has led to a “We have experienced it with the pandemic, and we live it today, it is a world of post-truth.”

Pierangelo Fabiano, ICCH Secretary, then emphasized the Hub’s mission: “Communication is no longer an aid activity, but a strategic one. We have seen the impact of fake news during the pandemic, we now see it in international conflicts: communication also affects geopolitics. The Hub involves professionals and students for ever more quality communication, also able to defend themselves against fake news “.

Rector of the IULM University Gianni Canova highlighted the role of the context, which “is increasingly not marked by misinformation, but by misinformation: it is the communicative context that the end user is put in a position to not be able to confirm the reliability and truthfulness of the information transmitted.

Stefania Romenti, IULM professor, revealed the data from the academic research and highlighted how “citizens expect the company to provide certifications, data and additional information to prove that what has been communicated is not true. They expect , that companies and institutions take responsibility for truthful information ”.

Following the intervention of the protagonists in the information, starting with the director of Tgcom24 Paolo Liguori: “some fake news, such as the ones we read today, affect the history and conscience of the world and people, there is a historical truth that is wrongly touched. This goes beyond disinformation: it’s fake news that disturbs people and consciences “.

For Skytg24 director Giuseppe De Bellis: “Slowness is also important, it’s better to be number two on the news, but with one more check. To see, moderation is a huge job, but if we started with that, journalists decide to publish, we would have already taken a step forward in the chain that generates disinformation and that we are trying to break ‘.

Maurizio Molinari, director of la Repubblica, asked himself “how do you defend yourself? The media are encouraged to describe the facts, but to do this in the season of digital communication infested with fake news, they must redefine their editorial structure. To reconsider our work “while the director of Il Sole 24 Ore Fabio Tamburini said:” again in fake news there is only the expression: bug fixes, falsification of reality is nothing new. but what has changed? social networks act as multipliers of fake news. Their mechanisms allows disinformation to reproduce itself and exponentially increases the ability to do harm to the business world as well as to states, parties and democracies.

In conclusion, the intervention of the director of askanews Gianni Todini: “fake news is actually information, false, but it is information. The reading made by the audience is no longer to form an opinion, but by those who looking for that type of answer.When asked ‘what information do I want?’ finds in fake news the satisfaction of his need to be informed “.

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