'Trump's use of fake news is the real problem': NYT managing editor

'Trump's use of fake news is the real problem': NYT managing editor
Copyright REUTERS/Carlos Barria
By Cristina Abellan Matamoros
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A panel of heavyweights in the media industry looked at ways to tackle the problem of disinformation at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

The New York Times has taken aim at President Donald Trump during a World Economic Forum panel on disinformation.


"President Trump's use of fake news is the real problem" said Joseph Kahn, managing editor of the New York Times, during Davos panel on "fake news" on Wednesday.

"Trump's definition of fake news is fundamentally fake, continued Kahn, it's an all-purpose term to smear those who hold the powerful to account."

The New York Times is one of several American news outlets Trump has blasted as being "fake news" over its coverage critical of the US leader. 

Kahn, along with the other panellists, answered questions from the audience about disinformation and examine what can be done to protect democracy in the "post-truth" world in a panel.

When asked if fake news was a threat to democracy, all panellists answered yes — but they had different ideas on how to remedy it. 

Deputy editor-in-chief of RT, Anna Belkina, said that it was the media community that needed to hold each other accountable.

"Much of the solution lies with self-regulation within the journalism community, if RT is able to point out mistakes in the New York Times, and vice versa, that will be much more effective than formal regulation," said Belkina.

Most of the panellists agreed that media agencies self-checking each other was a better option than formal government regulation.

"Strong regulation is an incredibly bad and incredibly dangerous idea," said Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia.

"We need a robust ecosystem, the independence of journalism to speak truth to power and to ferret out fake news," he said.

In terms of social media, platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram "really need to think about the quality of the information they are hosting. They are not doing enough to root out the problem of fake news," saidWales. 

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