Media scholar Rob Leurs explores how we can move beyond fake news to discuss underlying issues.
How can we assess images beyond whether they are fake or real? Conversations about media revolving around fake news have accelerated since the rise of Donald Trump. However this causes us to miss a lot: labeling something as ‘fake’ often serves as a diversion to avoid discussing its content – it does not go beyond a back and forth solely about ‘veracity’.
Moreover and just as importantly a discussion about true or fake is only about establishing facts, masking what’s more important: to judge the content of images on political, moral, social, judicial, and other grounds. An image can be fake but still convey a convincing moral argument, and vice versa it can be factual but in other ways undesirable. We need to move beyond the fake news discussion to judge images more deeply.
This lecture is part of the program around the World Press Photo exhibition that will be on display at Atlas from 11 September until 3 October. We also offer free guided tours and a Smartphone photography workshop.
Dr. Rob Leurs received his PhD from the University of Amsterdam. Since 2007 he researches and lectures at the department of Media & Culture Studies and Communication & Information Studies at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. His fields of interest are media and cultural studies, journalism and discursive constructions of public opinion, and qualitative research methods.