What do ordinary people think fake news is? Poor journalism and political propaganda.

HOW DO ORDINARY PEOPLE define fake news? Isabella, a woman we spoke to as part of a research project, explained that, for her, “fake news” is simply “news that you don’t believe is real.” She continued, “this guy has got one story, [that one] has got the other story, you decide which one is fake and you decide which one is real.”

We spoke to Isabella (not her real name) as part of a series of focus group discussions with news users in the United States, the United Kingdom, Spain, and Finland—organized by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford—to find out how members of the public think about fake news. …

The most striking result of the focus groups is that people see the difference between “fake news” and real journalism as one of degree, rather than drawing a clear distinction. CONT.

Rasmus Kleis Nielsen & Lucas Graves, Columbia Journalism Review