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Fake News Is Seen As Bigger Problem Than Climate Change And Terrorism

Fear of fake news is on the minds of many.
Fear of fake news is on the minds of many.
Chelsea Beck/NPR

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Americans think fake news is a larger problem than climate change, racism and terrorism, according to a new study from the Pew Research Center.

One in two people surveyed said made-up news is a very big problem for the country, ranking just behind the U.S. political system and the gap between the rich and the poor.

Those surveyed mainly blamed political leaders and activist groups for spreading false information, and a majority said the news media is responsible for remedying the problem.

The Pew Research Center did not use “fake news” in its survey, likely because the term carries a political charge after its popularization by President Trump. “Fake news” also means different things to different people. For some, it’s fake social media accounts spreading false information with the goal of influencing the 2016 election. For others, it’s the news media’s longtime focus on the Mueller report, which came up short of indicting the President.

What does the term mean to you – and how big of an issue do you think it is for Americans? Call us at 866-893-5722.



Amy Mitchell, director of journalism research at the Pew Research Center; she tweets @asmitch

Kelly McBride, senior vice president and chair for the Center for Ethics and Leadership at The Poynter Institute; she tweets @kellymcb

Jeffrey McCall, professor of communication at DePauw University in Indiana and former journalist; he tweets @Prof_McCall