All anyone has to do is turn on the television to watch President Trump denounce the work of credible news organizations as ‘fake news,’ or take to Twitter to read the President of the United States’ declaration of the media as the ‘enemy of the American People.’ So how does an outlet like Politico.com, which is entirely focused on covering the current political ongoings of Washington, D.C., make sense of this idea of ‘fake news’ to their readership?
Politico.com’s coverage of ‘fake news’ consists mostly of neutral and timely news articles about the President’s actions to discredit the media. Journalists at Politico.com cover the President’s declarations of ‘fake news’ as if it is any other piece of information being communicated by the President. There are very few pieces on Politico.com containing any deeper analyses of ‘fake news’ and its impact on the media or warning its readers of clues as to how to detect ‘fake news’ articles, as several of their competitors have done.
Some of the content Politico.com has produced on the topic of ‘fake news’ include articles with headlines such as “Trump Criticizes ‘Fake News’ New York Times,”Trump Blames Dust-Up Over Australian PM Call on ‘Fake News Media,'” and “Trump Tweets: Press is the ‘Enemy of the American People.'” Politico has not wavered in its commitment to accurately cover the actions of the White House by producing content about ‘fake news’ only when it is relevant to the President.
Perhaps the fact that the President has not publicly singled-out Politico for being a source of ‘fake news’ has contributed to their lack of extensive coverage on the topic. Several other organizations such as BBC, CNN, and the New York Times have produced content on ‘fake news’ in an effort to defend their credibility. When large media companies are on the receiving end of direct attacks from the President, they often often adopt a more data-driven approach to disprove the President’s claims and maintain the trust and loyalty of their readers.
Conversely, Politico Media, a branch of Politico.com that covers recent developments in the news industry, has presented a very different approach to the idea of ‘fake news’ by providing a variety of angles, opinions, and perspectives on the concept. Politico Media offers a more businesses-driven perspective on current events by discussing the financial performances of prominent news organizations, announcing notable new hires by news outlets, and raising legal concerns about the decisions of media companies.
Politico Media covers a wide spectrum of news outlets with detailed descriptions of the topics they are covering and the methods in which they are covering them. Politico Media also discusses the convergence of technology and media in regards to how major technology companies are becoming involved in the security aspect of document-driven journalism and data reporting. For example, one article on Politico Media contains the headline “State-Sponsored Hackers Targeting Prominent Journalists, Google Warns.” Other headlines from Politico Media include “Hugh Hewitt: ‘I Don’t Trust Breitbart,'” “Lawyer’s Comments Raise Prospect of Federal Investigation for Fox News’ Parent Company,” and “CNN Chief Says Trump’s Attacks are Boosting Morale.”
Politico Media’s coverage of ‘fake news’ does not deviate from the company’s focus on current, timely political news – evident by their reluctance to include less news-focused interpretations or explanations of fake news. While Politico Media offers more coverage on the current state of the media, it does not differ from Politico.com in the kind of coverage it provides.