Vol. 11 No. 2 (2020): Media and education in the pandemic age of COVID-19
Articles

Journalism and fake news in the Covid-19 era. Perspectives for media education in Italy

Giannamaria Cappello
Dipartimento Culture e Società, Università di Palermo
Francesca Rizzuto
Dipartimento Culture e Società, Università di Palermo
Published November 2, 2020
Keywords
  • journalism,
  • fake news,
  • civic engagement,
  • infotainment,
  • media education

Abstract

In this article, drawing from the data collected by the AGCOM during the pandemic crisis, we argue that the emergence of COVID 19 has made more evident the new relationships between the informative cybercascades, the significant need of news during a crisis, the presence of disinformation online, and the relevant consequences on collective narrations, often producing a generalized panic. We also argue that infotainment can be considered a critical turning point in the relationship between true and false in the news because of its fusion of facts, drama, and emotional narrative frames so that it is no longer possible to separate reality from media reconstruction of it. We finally argue that Media Education can help individuals unpack the complexities of this fusion and engage ‘civically’ so that, by combining critical thinking and social action, they can contribute to reconnect (news)media to vital issues such as credibility, freedom of expression, pluralism, democracy, and social change.