This knee-slapper of an article from AFP is yet another example of how journalism builds fortresses to run away from truths that do not suit their own lofty self-opinions.
They are obsessed with the label "fake news" as they repeatedly try to pretend "fake news" is somehow different than the lies and hoaxes they reported as news.
The reason we have the fake website is that journalism failed to distinguish itself from falsehoods. That's on them, no one else.
But then the article blames politicians for their woes:
This is exacerbated by the spread of false information by authority figures. In some countries this can go far. For example in Ukraine, where authorities staged the death of Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko at the end of May. Kiev said the move was justified to foil a real plot to assassinate Babchenko.
The staging, broadcast in good faith by media worldwide, "is a godsend for paranoid people and conspiracy theorists. At a time when confidence in news is so low, a state playing with the truth in this way makes things even more complicated," said Christophe Deloire, secretary general of journalism watchdog Reporters Without Borders.
Notice it also blames an audience whose distrust makes them unstable and abnormal as they must be "paranoid people and conspiracy theorists." It is everybody else's fault:
Political agendas also affect the credibility of the media.
Does AFP not understand their job is to report truth and reality in a sea of all sorts of people -- some of whom have an agenda and tell lies?
It is no excuse, especially as political manipulations have been around a lot longer than journalism itself.
The arrogant state of denial goes on to also blame social media -- but never journalism. It is a profession that sees itself as a flawless martyr beyond reproach:
Despite the creation of dozens of fact-checking initiatives in recent years and first steps to tackle the problem from the internet giants, efforts to stem the proliferation of false information remain weak.
Meanwhile techniques to create false information are growing more sophisticated with the development of deep fakes -- manipulated videos that appear genuine but depict events or speech that never happened.
And what good are the "fact-checking" initiatives that have the same lack of discipline and empirical methods that felled journalism?
A profession whose own arrogance and lack of self-awareness clouded its perceptions of reality.
This article misuses itself: instead of using its resources to inform, it makes excuses as it tries to absolve itself of any responsibility. That is not news, but propaganda.
It is why journalism cannot report on itself: it takes off the table the very things that destroyed it, and they think if they deny it or hide it, that no one will see it.
And reality just doesn't work that way...