Fake News on Effects of Global Warming - Research Paper

Paper Type:  Research paper
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1774 Words
Date:  2022-09-12


Historically, human beings have relied on media and free press to advance knowledge and have a more informed population in different countries. Chiefly, a free press is currently seen as a characteristic of a mature democracy where the freedom of speech has been guaranteed. As a result, different media groups have been able o successfully challenge different government administration in different countries, successfully aired public views to the government, and much more educated the public on very important issues. Notably, provision of information such as civic education highly relies on media. However, every freedom has limitations and responsibilities. Journalists are expected to provide news to the public that is well researched and edited to ensure that the information that gets to the public is accurate and not misleading at a lot. With the great influence, the media has on the public; a minor disinformation can result in a great harm. In other words, a journalist should have the highest degree of work ethics to ensure integrity and lack of "fake news" in the media. One of the greatest effects of "fake news" has been sabotage on the campaign against global warming. Massive contradicting data has been published to contradict scientific findings through the development of a number of conspiracy theories. As a result, the concept of "fake news" has become a matter of international concern and one of the greatest challenges facing the creation of awareness on global warming its effects.

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The term "fake news" has not been in existence for many years through the concept meant by the term have been a matter of concern for centuries. The United States president, Donald Trump, is perhaps highly credited for the use of the term and great impact on the society. In fact, the term was coined as the 2017's word of the year ("Trump Calls Sun Interview 'Fake News'"). In the president's view, he used the term fake news to merely refer to exclusively false stories of news from the media. There also seem to be a hidden motive for fake news. More than deceiving the public, at times fake news can be used through political motives especially through campaigns (Carson). Further, the term is highly related to the term "internet shell game" as used by an American philosopher, Michael Lynch, who referred to the mixture of truth and false being spread to the public to arouse confusion (Habgood-Coote 13). Despite the different views on what is the exact definition of fake news, the Cambridge dictionary gives a much more satisfactory definition that serves scholarly interest. Fake news according to Cambridge, refers to false publications that seem to be news that is either spread through different media channels or usually created as a joke or with a motive to influence political views ("FAKE NEWS | Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary"). Generally, the term basically means the release of inaccurate information to the public due to a specific motive.

One of the related concepts of fake news in global warming has been the global warming conspiracy theory. The conspiracy claims that scientific findings on global warming are based on conspiracy to provide data that is manipulated and suppresses the truth. The theorists claim that the science behind global warming has been either distorted or invented due to either financial or ideological reasons. Notably, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) states that atmospheric carbon dioxide is the greatest contributor to global warming. Despite such consensus by scientists, conspiracy theorists claim that these institutions and scientists are engaged in a manipulative hoax, citing cases of malpractice by such organizations ("Show This to Every Person Who Doubts That Climate Change is Real"). In extreme cases, these theorists have claimed that global warming has followed after the end of cold war, and it is merely an ideological conflict rather than an environmental scare. Such claims have made the progress towards the fight against global warming hard and slow.

Further, an article published by the London School of Economics and Political Science highlights bogus statements given by a journalist in The Sunday Telegraph, Christopher Booker. The journalist allegedly gave several inaccurate and misleading information on the trend of winter temperatures in North America ("Another Failure to Tackle Fake News About Climate Change"), stating that North America had witnessed a series of unusually cold winters. This claim was clearly untrue, as the records by the American and Canadian national meteorological organizations shows that as opposed to Booker's claims, Nort America had experienced a series of unusually warm winters. For instance, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) indicated that between the year 1990-91, contiguous United States experienced 23 warmer winters than average of winters recorded in the whole of the 20th century ("Another Failure to Tackle Fake News About Climate Change") . Such bogus assertions offer misleading information to the public and become an enemy of progress.

The aspect of fake news is not just a matter of national concern but also a matter of international concern. First, it is important to understand that the social messaging and networking have probed the extent of regulations by governments and media companies to address this challenge (Ireton and Posetti 2). In the context of growing pressure, there has been the development of different regulations domestically and internationally, not only to guarantee free-expression by the media but also to ensure the integrity of the companies. The UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Opinion in 2018 made the issue its major mandate in the report. The report urges the not only align with the UN standards on the right to seek, impart and receive information, but also to develop self-regulation as used by other media services (Mendel 250). The UNESCO's International Program for the Development of Communication (IPDC) focuses on a Global Initiative for Excellence in Journalism Education. The focus is primarily aimed at engaging with researching and practicing of journalism from a global perspective which includes, but not limited, sharing of international good practices in the practice of information collection and dissemination ("International Programme for the Development of Communication"). Based on this context then, the aspect of fake news is not just a matter of national concern, but also extends to international concern.

In relation to climate change and global warming, there has been a number of organizations which has been tasked with the mandate of ensuring that there is precise and accurate reporting by the media, and most specifically, the members of such associations. For example, The Independent Press Standards Organizations (IPSO), is one of the committed organizations in ensuring that publications in its member newspapers, such as The Sunday Telegraph, are committed to giving high standards publications, not only environmental related, but further covering a wide range of topics ("Another Failure to Tackle Fake News About Climate Change"). Although the organization has been highly criticized for its failure to fully ensure true publications and accuracy in member newspapers, it has conducted extensive campaigns in the advertisement to ensure credibility in reporting.

To combat the proliferation of fake news and irresponsible sources of information, different steps have to be strictly taken. The challenge of fake news can be countered in two basic ways; enforcing and encouraging enforcement of regulations that govern journalist both locally and internationally, improving Media and Information Literacy (MIL) especially among journalist practitioners or both. MIL aims at creating an understanding to journalism students on how to detect "information disorder" in subliminal and obvious messages (Ireton and Posetti 74). The concept of MIL is an umbrella used by UNESCO to emphasize competencies in the media. Among many things covered, human rights literacy, news literacy, advertising literacy, privacy literacy among others are addressed in the program. Human rights literacy includes, but not all, an understanding of the right to freedom of expression and everyone's person's right to receive, seek and impart information and opinion. News literacy, on the other hand, creates awareness on the journalist standards and ethics as the core strategy to ensure integrity in the publication of any information to the public (Ireton and Posetti 74). Basically, it informs our discovery, consumption, production, sharing and evaluating information, and the understanding of self and others I the information society.


In conclusion, false news or fake news is an increasingly used term in reference to media technology. Not only has the circulation of fake news been a problem in the political arena, but it has also been one of the greatest challenges in creating awareness towards global warming, and thus having great negative effects. Different Media, from broadcast, print, electronic to social media are faced with the challenge of providing credible information that is neither false nor misleading. Having gained its popularity in 2017, the term "fake news" has been widely used to refer to false news or inaccurate news that is fueled by motives such as revenue gain or political interests. Fake news can take many forms, ranging from propaganda, conspiracy theories among others. Notably, the problem of fake news is not just a matter of national concerns in different countries but further extends into the international forum. The United Nations under the UNESCO has developed different programs to counter the programs. These programs include Media and Information Literacy (MIL) and the UNESCO's International Program for the Development of Communication (IPDC). These programs play a significant role in ensuring that journalist is well equipped with the necessary skills to avoid circulation of fake news or inaccurate news.

Works Cited

"Another Failure to Tackle Fake News About Climate Change." Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, www.lse.ac.uk/GranthamInstitute/news/another-failure-to-tackle-fake-news-about-climate-change/.

Carson, James. "Fake News: What Exactly is It ? and How Can You Spot It?" The Telegraph, 28 Nov. 2018, www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/0/fake-news-exactly-has-really-had-influence/. Accessed 10 Dec. 2018.

"FAKE NEWS | Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary." Cambridge Dictionary | English Dictionary, Translations & Thesaurus, dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/fake-news.

Habgood-Coote, Joshua. "Stop talking about fake news!" Inquiry, 2018, pp. 1-33.

Home | Michael Patrick Lynch, michael-lynch.philosophy.uconn.edu.

"Infographic: Beyond Fake News - 10 Types of Misleading News - Nine Languages." EAVI, 30 Apr. 2018, eavi.eu/beyond-fake-news-10-types-misleading-info/.

"International Programme for the Development of Communication." UNESCO, 19 Nov. 2018, en.unesco.org/programme/ipdc.

Ireton, C., and J. Posetti. Journalism,'Fake News' &Disinformation Handbook for Journalism Education and Training. UNESCO, unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0026/002655/265552e.pdf. Accessed 10 Dec. 2018.

Mendel, Toby. "The UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression: progressive development of international standards relating to freedom of expression." The United Nations and Freedom of Expression and Information, pp. 235-268.

"Show This to Every Person Who Doubts That Climate Change is Real." The Independent, 11 May 2017, www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change-explained-real-hoax-fake-truth-global-warming-conspiracy-debunker-a7704166.html.

"Trump Calls Sun Interv...

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Fake News on Effects of Global Warming - Research Paper. (2022, Sep 12). Retrieved from https://midtermguru.com/essays/fake-news-on-effects-of-global-warming-research-paper

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