Study: 'Fake news' has bigger impact than traditional news

BOULDER, Colo. – The scourge of "fake news" appears to have a deeper stranglehold on the state of journalism than once thought.

A recently-released study co-authored by a University of Colorado researcher shows that fake-news websites had about twice as much influence on the media landscape as fact-checking websites did.

The study, published in the journal New Media & Society, found that between 2014 and 2016, sites that spread false stories outpaced traditional news outlets, both in terms of the number of articles produced each month and their influence on the broader media agenda.

Additionally, because of the sheer number of fake news stories being spread on social media, credible sites and outlets increasingly feel pressure to correct or refute the false articles. This has an impact on and shows influence over the broader media agenda, the author wrote.

However, the author did note some encouraging news. The study showed a steady decline in the influence fake news sites had on the media landscape from 2014 to 2016.
 

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