The term ‘fake news’ caught worldwide fire after Donald Trump (President elect USA) uttered it with all vocal might in his post win conference speech.
Fake news, the act of propagating information which is not true in order to promote a line of thought or message, has seen a surprise rise tapping into society’s changing news consumption pattern which has gradually shifted from traditional to digital media.
A news item, when worded well and supported by befitting visual, gains credence and instills faith in a viewer’s mind, who being caught in the net of virality and digital buzz, more than often doesn’t bother or make an attempt to corroborate its authenticity.
There are researches on internet on how some organizations and people have mastered the art (read: business) of spreading fake news, leading to catastrophic consequences.
The tool or ploy is majorly used in the murky political power hungry world but its traces, which primarily aim to create a certain kind of perception among masses, have found its way in the media & entertainment space as well.
IndianWikiMedia editorial team, while discussing and deliberating on changing pattern of news, did fish out certain instances where we too were fed with information, which were far from reality.
The news business is evolving constantly and with speed emerging as the key element to stay ahead, fiction is often served in the garb of facts. It’s challenging for us also to stay on course and as they say, ‘to err is human, to forgive is divine’. However, the earnest attempt is to err as less as possible or to not err at all (quite Utopian in today’s time).
The fake news trend is majorly dominant in the non-fiction programming space, mainly in top notch reality shows. Speculative articles without any acknowledgement are doled out rampantly to grab eyeballs, specially for shows like Bigg Boss, Nach Baliye, Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa, among others. Often it’s fed by those who aspire to be a part of the project and concerned PR teams to set the buzz going.
Bigg Boss 11 is round the corner and so is the ‘fake’ speculation around it.
This space gets miasmatic when one cannot trace the origin of such news. For non-fiction projects, since official confirmation is almost none, the horizon to create noise and pass off as news broadens uncontrollably.
However, we would like to state that the trend has seen its presence in fiction space as well.
These are some instances. We were told of a certain fire engulfing the sets of &TV’s Badho Bahu. The news was published in all major publications, however when we tried to get some pictures of the burnt set, we got none. All stories carried a representational picture, none of the fire. Well, still if someone sends us snapshots of the fire incident, we will be happy to be proven wrong. The concern here is even national dailies too did not bother to check on facts.
In another instance, we were informed by mail of Alok Nath being part of Life OK’s (now Star Bharat) Ghulaam, which never turned out to be true. So was the case of Tabu and Ayesha Jhulka entering Star Plus’ Chakravyuh, which are being played by Sangeeta Ghosh and Anju Mahendru respectively. In most cases we already broke the entry stories or knew about it, and strangely many a times the buzz gets created by concerned authorities themselves.
There are many such cases, which if dug up and written, would put you to sleep. However, Yuvika Chaudhary entering Badho Bahu was a piece of news which even a fresh out of college journo could fathom was meant to stir up the relationship buzz between her and Prince Narula. Yuvika is still to be seen in the serial.
The idea here is not to be a Devil’s advocate or play the ‘higher moral’ card, it’s about bringing to light the rising fake buzz trend in the industry and as responsible authorities, the need to keep a check and ensure that news remains news, and not become noise.
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