Potential fake news crisis averted by good journalism

Tuesday 06 June, 2017

In a session at the Asia Media Summit in China, Li Bin (pictured) from Chinese international broadcaster CGTN gave an example of the constant threat of fake news to international stability.

“A few weeks ago, after the change of government in South Korea, we heard about a potential coup being planned by the previous Prime Minister. This was being spread via some news sites and social media.

“Of course we thought this is a big story if it is true, we should cover it.

“The first thing our journalists did was to check the facts. And we found it was not true.

“Of course we did not report it.”

What was the motivation of the people creating this fake news story? Was it just to be disruptive, or was there something more sinister to it? Li Bin could not speculate about the motivation, but was very aware of the consequences if it had been reported.

The potential damage if the story had been reported would have been huge.

It could have created an international incident outside the country, and inside South Korea the potential to cause unrest during a volatile political period is evident.

“Chinese media is trying to make itself a reliable source of information… Journalists have a big role to play in finding the truth behind events,” said Bin.


A theme emerging in this year’s Asia Media Summit is that the threat of fake news is growing. It is important for all media to be diligent in checking sources and verifying information so that they are not deceived by the purveyors of fake news.


Related reports:

Asia Media Summit Opens

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