The End of the World for Fake News

"In 1938, Orson Welles’ radio broadcast of 'The War of the Worlds' caused thousands of people to panic, believing they were listening to a genuine newscast of a Martian invasion of New Jersey," writes Katie Sweeney for Public Relations Tactics, the trade publication of the Public Relations Society of America. "Later, many expressed outrage, with some even calling for the government to regulate broadcasters to prevent such confusion from happening again." Something similar is happening, she argues, with regard to public outrage over video news releases (VNRs) and satellite media tours (SMTs), two PR techniques that plant fake news on television. Due to public protests (including our own No Fake News campaign), "stations may be soon forced to label all VNR material that comes from the federal government."