When did fake news begin? Without going back to earlier times, surely the history of early modern news is littered, or enlivened, with stories about personages who never existed or events that never occurred or at least not in the way we are told. How do the aporia arise? On occasion the author of such stories is not the compiler of the news item, but some other party on whom the news writer was relying at the time. Custodians of political or even religious power were never very far from the scene. Of course, news writing then as now was a hurried business running up against inderogable deadlines, and fakes or mistakes may even creep in by stealth. Before (and even after) the late 17th-century advent of the figure of the 'reporter' on the spot in a given location, collecting information for his publishers, news gathering was haphazard and subject to wills, whims and whoppers. In this panel we discuss the language of early modern fake news, through a combined corpus and microhistory approach. Members of the EURONEWS PROJECT team present the state of research at present.
Speakers: Brendan Dooley and Wouter Kreuze (University College Cork)
Event date: Thursday, 25 May 2023