Columbia museum exhibit tracks history of fake news

4 months 1 week 20 hours ago Saturday, August 11 2018 Aug 11, 2018 Saturday, August 11, 2018 11:12:00 AM CDT August 11, 2018 in News
By: The Associated Press

COLUMBIA (AP) — A museum exhibit in Columbia is unpacking how the concept of fake news has developed over time.

The Boone County History and Culture Center recently opened the exhibit, "The History of Fake News (and the Importance of the World's Oldest School of Journalism)," the Columbia Missourian reported. Visitors can learn until January about how misinformation spreads.

Curator Clyde Bentley, a professor at University of Missouri's School of Journalism, said fake news started long before President Donald Trump's campaign.

"We've had this notion of fake news since the days of Charles II," Bentley said.

England's King Charles II banned coffee in the 1600s in an effort to control the news, Bentley said. Coffeehouses were places where politics and events were discussed. Charles II wanted to put a stop to the critiques of his reign coming from those establishments.

The exhibit also highlights the Missouri government's suppression of news during the Civil War when the state was under martial law. Soldiers arrested journalists who sympathized with the Confederacy and shut down their papers, Bentley said.

The exhibit outlines three types of fake news: error, hoax and real information that someone says isn't true, according to Bentley. The museum also analyzes how bots on social media networks control conversations with misinformation.

Bentley said the goal of the exhibit is for visitors to leave knowing they should examine news more carefully.

"My real hope is people will come in here with an open mind and come out and say, 'I better check this out a little better,'" Bentley said. "We should all do that."

___

Information from: Columbia Missourian, http://www.columbiamissourian.com

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