Conceptualizing satirical fakes as a new media genre : an attempt to legitimize 'post-truth journalism'

Rathnayake, Chamil (2018) Conceptualizing satirical fakes as a new media genre : an attempt to legitimize 'post-truth journalism'. In: The Internet, Policy & Politics Conference 2018, 2018-09-20, University of Oxford.

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Pseudo media sites, such as The Onion, ClickHole, TheDailyMash, and Satirewire that publish fabricated “news”, most commonly satirical articles, have emerged as a distinct layer of post-truth new media. Despite the possibility that perplexity and difficulty in grasping messages in disinformation based satire is an issue pertaining to genre development, post-truth satire has not yet been examined from a genre analysis perspective. This paper develops a theoretical basis to conceptualize post-truth satire as a new media genre and identify generic conventions for post-truth satire. The paper suggests that readers’ understanding of deep meanings embedded in fabricated satire is predicated upon their ability to detect explicitness of fabrication. Explicit display of fabrication can invite interpretation, pushing audience beyond merely taking content from face value. Explicit fabrication, as a stylistic approach, can be used to construct post-fact narratives relating to socio-political phenomena. Post-fact truth can serve as a form of ‘constructed truth’ based on intentionally fabricated facts relating to real-world phenomena.


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