Felicity Caldwell reports in the Brisbane Times (4.3.17) on the phenomenon of ‘fake news’ and ‘alternative facts’ having seemingly taken root in Queensland’s political discourse, at least as witnessed in recent statements by various state MPs.
‘”Fake news” and “alternative facts” have entered the political vocabulary in Queensland and it could be damaging to the health of our democracy.
‘Political spin in the face of criticism is nothing new, but the term “fake news” has been prolific in recent months, especially in US politics – and Queensland politicians have jumped on the bandwagon.
‘In Parliament this week, LNP member for Hervey Bay Ted Sorensen accused the Fraser Coast Chronicle of “fake news” following articles published about “the end of the scallops” and the electoral redistribution.
‘Opposition Energy spokesman Michael Hart criticised the ABC for a story about cuts to CSG compliance funding, labelling it “fake news”.
‘… The University of Queensland journalism expert Dr Daniel Angus said it was concerning that the rhetoric of fake news had arrived in Australian politics.
‘”Politicians using it as a framing device to say that any news that disagrees with their position is fake news is very worrying,” Dr Angus said.’