Chris Berdik’s article, “Duped: When journalists fall for fake news (2002), explains how journalists become victims of false news. Berdik goes on to discuss a story that was published in the Associated Press in October 1999. The story that was published was about an amusement park that would have a cemetery theme, and information as well as contacts was all available on a web site. However, everything dealing with this theme park was fake, created by media hoaxer Joey Skaggs. Through false ads and press releases, Chris Berdik talks about how journalists including him were interested in the story, even without checking the facts.

Next, Berdik goes on to talk about the five types of hoaxes that he believes exist. The first type dealing with hoaxing for fame; pretending to be connected to a celebrity is an example Berdik gave in the article. The second type he talked about were scams involving money. The third and fourth types involve the doings of journalists and are classified as false news that is either made up stories or jokes. Hoaxes aimed towards shaming society into improvement were the final type; the cemetery amusement park hoax was placed in this category.

Berdik then goes on to explain reasons why stories such as the cemetery amusement are picked up. He first explains it as laziness on the journalist part, simply using another story without bothering to stop and question the information. Deadline pressure was the next point Berdik considered in playing a role in shortcuts in journalism. Lastly, the Internet was also discussed as another reason some journalists allow questioning stories to be printed.

Berdik concludes by stating that need to be a critical thinker is a vital in the world that we live in. He also believes that although we may never be able to escape the mediated fake environment, journalism can still strive.

Berdik, C. (2002). Duped: When journalists fall for fake news. Quill Magazine 90(4), 22-26.

You're off to a good start, Corrida, but you don't tell me enough about the publication for me to evaluate it. This article probably doesn't give you the depth or the specific details you need to go deeper. Seems like this guy is going a "mea culpa" for how the press is victimized by these miscreants. This article made me wonder about the hoaxers whose purpose is to reveal media bias (like Joey Skaggs) and that is a truly cool topic. To learn more about this, you might read the REALLY GOOD book by Christine Harold called OurSpace. Here's a recent article she wrote on a similar topic

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