Nationally Known Commentator Presents Talk on Fake News

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Editor’s Note: This video comest to WestfordCAT through the Waltham League of Women Voters. It’s the first in an ongoing series on journalistic ethics and industry practices. Coming next is an interview with Boston Globe Editor Brian McGrory.

Nationally known commentator and WGBH writer, Dan Kennedy, presented recently to the League of Women Voters in Waltham on the topic of  “Fake News.” Kennedy is also a Northeastern University professor.

“I first became aware of what we think of as fake news during the 2016 presidential campaign,” he said.  “Publications such as the New York Times and Buzz Feed were reporting that there were all these people  literally putting together fake news stories with the idea of going viral and making a little bit of money from Google ads.”

Kennedy said the original motivation was not especially political. One story which circulated was that the Pope had endorsed Hillary Clinton with little success. They then said the Pope had endorsed Donald Trump — a lie that flourished.

Some of the posters were kids in Macedonia who were trying to make money from the Internet, Kennedy said.

This presentation comes to WestfordCAT via the Waltham League of Women Voters.