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Weaponizing ‘fake news’ in Australian politics
This seminar explores two conundrums for quality Australian political discourse linked to the phenomenon of ‘fake news’. First, it will explore Australian contagion of the discourse of ‘fake news’ since Donald Trump’s candidacy to become United States’ President that is weaponized to attack and discredit news media and political rivals. Using data from four different political fora, the use of ‘fake news discourse’ by Australian political elites is assessed outside an election period. In addition, instances of disinformation during Australian election campaigns are traced with reference to the 2016 ‘Mediscare’ campaign arising from the left, and the 2019 ‘death tax’ campaign originating from the right of Australian politics. It concludes with observations on how to strengthen the integrity of information in the Australian public sphere.
About the presenter:
Andrea Carson is Associate Professor in the Department of Politics, Media and Philosophy at Latrobe University. Her latest research book is 'Investigative Journalism, Democracy and the Digital Age' published by Routledge, New York. She was previously a lecturer in political science at the University of Melbourne and is an academic adviser to the Public Interest Journalism Initiative. Her research examines politics and the media - with special interests in investigative journalism, the media's role in a democracy and political communication. She has done extensive research on journalism, Australian politics, voter behaviour, election campaigns and digital media. Andrea holds a PhD in Political Science and an MA in International Politics, both from the University of Melbourne. She has taught courses on political communication, news media and politics and campaigns and elections at The University of Melbourne. She was the academic coordinator of Pathways to Politics, teaching women the skills for public office with the Melbourne School of Government. She has worked previously as a print journalist (The Age), online, radio (ABC, RRR) and TV (producer 7.30).