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Anatomy of Fake News - A Critical News Literacy Education

English · Hardback

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"In a society awash in delusions, myths, and hallucinations, Nolan Higdon provides a necessary dive into the cultural and political roots of fake news. This book gives crucial insight into the fake news phenomenon and dissociation from reality in the Trump era and is an important contribution to the fight for media literacy."—Abby Martin, host of The Empire Files
"The Anatomy of Fake News is a first-rate introduction to the subject. Higdon rigorously combs the published work on the subject and puts it together in a very readable and coherent manner. It is a strong contribution to the field of media literacy and media studies."—Robert McChesney, Gutgsell Endowed Professor in the Department of Communication, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
"With a clear-eyed understanding that fake news has been around for ages and argued over for a century, Higdon sets his sights on creating an impressive document that clarifies the history of its appearances, the logics of its manipulations, and the powerful effects of its contemporary uses. With cutting-edge theoretical arguments, he illuminates what fake news seeks to hide and offers educators and students a way to challenge its destructive force and learn to create authentic discursive spaces where we can all thrive."—Robin Andersen, Professor of Communication and Media Studies, Fordham University
"The Anatomy of Fake News is key to understanding our current media environment and, more importantly, to developing a comprehensive and complex understanding of news and information. This adept history invites readers to see a long line of material intentionally obfuscated by the mainstream media. Higdon provides clear resources for readers to make their own news analysis both more active and better informed."—Allison Butler, Senior Lecturer & Director of the Media Literacy Certificate Program, University of Massachusetts Amherst

List of contents


1 The Fourth Estate: Democracy and the Press
2 The Faux Estate: A Brief History of Fake News in America
3 Satirical News and Political Party Propaganda Apparatuses
4 The Roots of State-Sponsored Propaganda
5 Fake News and the Internet Economy
6 Fighting Fake News: Solutions and Discontent 
7 The Fake News Detection Kit: The Ten-Point Process to Save Our Democracy 


About the author

Nolan Higdon is a lecturer in media studies and history at California State University, East Bay. Higdon sits on the boards of the Action Coalition for Media Education and Northwest Alliance for Alternative Media and Education. He also cohosts the Along the Line podcast.


Since the 2016 U.S. presidential election, concerns about fake news have fostered calls for government regulation and industry intervention to mitigate the influence of false content. These proposals are hindered by a lack of consensus concerning the definition of fake news or its origins. Media scholar Nolan Higdon contends that expanded access to critical media literacy education, grounded in a comprehensive history of fake news, is a more promising solution to these issues. The Anatomy of Fake News offers the first historical examination of fake news that takes as its goal the effective teaching of critical news literacy in the United States. Higdon employs a critical-historical media ecosystems approach to identify the producers, themes, purposes, and influences of fake news. The findings are then incorporated into an invaluable fake news detection kit. This much-needed resource provides a rich history and a promising set of pedagogical strategies for mitigating the pernicious influence of fake news.

Product details

Authors Nolan Higdon
Publisher University Of California Press
Languages English
Product format Hardback
Released 31.08.2020
EAN 9780520347861
ISBN 978-0-520-34786-1
No. of pages 248
Subject Social sciences, law, business > Media, communication > Communication science

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