Here, Trump makes statements that represent his personal opinions and presents them as facts, making claims that are not very accurate.
In his speech, Trump uses propaganda as he exaggerates the number of his supporters and people present at his inauguration, for example. In fact, the media compared the size of the audience at his inaugural address with the size of the audience during Barack Obama’s inaugural addresses and concluded that Trump’s audience was significantly smaller. Also note that many of Trump’s statements during the presidential campaign were considered to be inaccurate.
Donald Trump's immigration speech from the election campaign in 2016 provides an early example of his typical way of dismissing the mainstream media. While speaking of the threat of illegal immigration, he frequently repeats the claim that the media deliberately refuses to report on the problem because of their liberal bias. At the same time, he repeats false or distorted statistics about the scale of the issue.
Among other issues, Orwell’s novel focuses on the power of government propaganda. The Ministry of Truth is described as an extremely efficient propaganda machine, specialised in producing fake news reports and media designed to control the population’s thoughts.
George Orwell's novel is an allegory of Stalin's rise to power within the Soviet Union, and contains many references to Soviet propaganda. For example, the dictator Napoleon (who represents Stalin) is often shown to directly manipulate and distort historical facts to his own advantage.
Below are further suggestions for texts or movies that may be relevant when working with fake news. We do not currently have study guides for these texts, but maybe you can be inspired to look for some of these titles yourself.
- Edwards, Craig and Morris, Samuel - Fake News (2017 movie)
- Knappenberger, Brian - Nobody Speak: Trials of the Free Press (2017 documentary)
- Levitin, Daniel - Weaponized Lies: How to Think Critically in the Post-Truth Era (2016 book)
- McNair, Brian - Fake News: Falsehood, Fabrication and Fantasy in Journalism (2017 book)
- Young, Kevin - Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts, and Fake News (2017 book)