The Rise and Fall of Fake News

The Fritt Ord Foundation and The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters invite the public to a conversation about fake news, fact-checking and public trust, on Tuesday 17 October 2017, 5 p.m., at Uranienborgveien 2.

In 2016, Oxford Dictionaries declared post-truth its international word of the year, and defined it as the state of affairs when "objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief." PolitiFact named fake news its 2016 “Lie of the Year”. Since then, the term has lost much of its initial meaning and content in the public debate.

Has the proliferation of fact-checking services strengthened people’s trust in the media? What does effective counter-measures look like? How can fact-checkers and people in general secure accurate information? How do readers, editors, journalists and politicians combat the routinely spreading of false or misleading stories? How to negate confirmation bias, i.e the tendency to search for, interpret, favor and recall information in a way that confirms one’s preexisting beliefs or values?

To discuss these topics, we have invited a panel of national and international experts: 
  • Tuva Ahlsen lives and attends school in Fredrikstad. She is passionate about new, digital media, and is a member of the advisory board of the Norwegian Safer Internet Centre, an organization under The Norwegian Media Authority. She is the national coordinator for the centre’s work on safer digital spaces for children and youth.
  • Gunn Enli is professor of media studies at the Department of Media and Communication, University of Oslo. She teaches and does research in the fields of media policy, political communication, participatory media, and mediated authenticity.
  • Michael Patrick Lynch is professor of philosophy at the University of Connecticut, where he directs the Humanities Institute. He is the author or editor of several books, including The Internet of Us.
  • George E. Marcus is professor of political science at Williams College. He received his B.A. from Columbia University. His M.A. and PhD. are from Northwestern University. His current research is on the role of emotion in democratic politics.
  • Per Søreide Senstad studies international relations and political theory at King´s College London. He is writing his dissertation on how technological disruptions can constitute a challenge to the legitimacy of liberal democracy as a form of government.
Moderator: Kjersti Løken Stavrum

The event is free of charge and open to the public. It is hosted in conjunction with a two-day Academy Symposium on fake news and alternative facts. Read more about this event at the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters website. 

Fritt Ord invites applications for grants of NOK 60 000 each for communications activities and discussions based on contemporary factual prose and fiction. For example, funding can be used for debates, seminars, talks with writers or discussion fora.

Deadline for applications: 29 June 2018.

The 2018 Free Media Awards are awarded to Chai Khana in South-Caucasus for their efforts to bring attention to under-reported news stories spanning national borders in the region, Fontanka in Russia for their coverage of ongoing and forgotten conflicts, and to the Belarusian website Belarus Partisan for their tireless investigative work.

The Fritt Ord Foundation has now awarded their annual grants to critics. At NOK 200 000 each, the grants should result in a steady stream of reviews during the period from August 2018 to August 2019. The grant scheme was established in 2015, and 11 grants are being awarded this year.