The Institute for Policy Research’s 2017 symposium Politics, Fake News and the Post-Truth Era will examine public policy and politics in the current age of disruption, when established norms of democratic debate such as truthfulness, integrity and accountability appear to have broken down. In critical decision-making processes from referenda and general elections to policy debates around migration and climate change, sentiments and assertions rather than scientific evidence are increasingly accepted as common currency, while “facts” are disputed and “experts” are derided. Meanwhile, a shifting and uncertain media landscape has led to greater public distrust of traditional news media – and greater abuses on the part of those who pose as information sources.
- What do we know about ‘fake news’, and how can we address it?
- How does media coverage of elections influence political participation and debate in a digital age? Is the so-called “mainstream media” relevant any more?
- Why has trust in “facts” and “evidence” broken down?
- What kinds of political leadership and democratic engagement can succeed in a “post-truth era”?
Politics, Fake News and the Post-Truth Era will bring together a coalition of journalists, policymakers and academics for a day of discussion on these questions, with keynote addresses being delivered by Professor Susan Banducci of the University of Exeter, Guardian writer Matthew d’Ancona and former Home Secretary Lord Blunkett.