Academics discuss implications of fake news and environment news for journalism.
The Faculty of Communication at the University of Sharjah held its first Research Seminar for the current academic year on Thursday, March 14 in the Theater Room at W7. The seminar is a yearly event held by the Faculty of Communication to foster research activities and output, allowing faculty members to present and discuss their on-going and recently published research projects in the field of communication, journalism and public relations.
Two research projects were presented in the first session of the year. The first one entitled "Online Journalism, Fake News, and Accountability" was presented by Dr. Bouziane Zaid, Associate Professor and Coordinator of the English Program at the Faculty of Communication. Dr. Zaid pointed out how the rise of fake news in recent years has made the internet one of the least trusted ecosystems in the modern era. Dr. Zaid also argued that recent developments in the field of journalism in the Arab World have contributed to news websites losing ground to PR journalism, branded content, misinformation, and propaganda. The speaker pointed out that one of the main challenges facing online news is finding viable business models that allow for the costly endeavor of producing credible news stories while remaining editorially independent.
The second project entitled "Sociology of News Production and its influences on Environmental News Coverage in the Nigerian Press" was presented by Dr. Emenyeonu, C. Ogadimma, Assistant Professor in the English Program at the Faculty of Communication. In his presentation, Dr. Ogadimma discussed how environmental concerns have become major national and international issues that call for greater attention from diverse stakeholders, including the media. He pointed out that the press is seen as brokers between environment and the public, framing social reality for readers and shaping public consciousness about environment-related events. Dr. Ogadimma asserted that despite the intensification of attention on environmental issues by environmental stakeholders, the global media in general and the Nigerian media particularly have not handled the environmental issue in a manner that is commensurate with the attention it demands. Drawing on the hierarchy of influences model promoted by Reese and Shoemaker (2014), his research was able to shed light on the complex factors shaping media production and press coverage of environmental issues.