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The Routledge Companion to Media and Scandal


We argue that there are four ways we both understand and misunderstand fake news as a research concept. This includes seeing fake news as text rather than visual content; as either “true” or “false” information rather than as facts embedded within narratives; as surface level content rather than being produced within institutional processes; and from a “Western-centric” lens rather than from a comparative context. As we will argue in our conclusion, these foci make connecting empirical work on fake news to larger media theories of visibility and surveillance more difficult. In particular, they make it harder to connect questions of fake news to sociologies of scandal and the public sphere. In the second section, we attempt to address each of these critiques by outlining elements of our research on fake news production in the Philippines, which was selected insofar as it provides a non-European case of a phenomenon the discussion of which is usually confined to the industrialized West and which serves as a launching pad for engaging in larger meta-theoretical reflection. In the third and final section, the chapter returns to the initial conversation about the media and scandal and discusses how these different frameworks for considering fake news shed light on the relationship between scandal and the media.




Cabanes, J., Anderson, C.W. & Ong, J.C. (2019). In Tumber, H. & Waisbord, S. (eds). The Routledge Companion to Media and Scandal. London: Routledge.


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