Nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper. Truth itself becomes suspicious by being put into that polluted vehicle.
—Thomas Jefferson to John Norvell, 1807
Amazing isn’t it that Thomas Jefferson expressed such skepticism about what is reported in the newspaper. And, that was in a smaller and simpler, yet less connected world. Now, when we are better equipped to get access to information, we seem to be much more easily misled.
Through our movie this month, The Witness (Solomon, 2015), we see how an entire nation of over 300 million people—through well-known and well-practiced, but perhaps unwitting, techniques of persuasion—can buy into a common, but false, understanding based on newspaper reporting. In this case, the fake news persisted over some 50 years. Continue reading Fake News: Are You Persuaded to Join the Herd?