2017 was the year that brought us a new startling reality – one in which 'alternative facts' consistently overwhelmed (or trumped?) well-considered, rigorous and evidence-based public discourse. We wanted to kick 2018 off by exploring this 'fake news' phenomenon with the the Economic Society of Australia's National Economic Panel (NEP). So for our 25th poll, we asked the NEP for their views on the following propositions:
Proposition 1: The modern phenomena of information overload and social-media-fuelled 'fake news' bring into focus the value of quality journalism. Quality journalism has a public-good dimension that warrants public support.
Proposition 2: The Australian government presently provides funding for the ABC and SBS, Australia's independent public broadcasters. The Australian government should increase its financial support of quality journalism.
* Collaborator credits: we would like to thank Dr Leonora Risse, Danielle Wood and Associate Professor Gigi Foster for their assistance in framing this poll question. We would also like to thank Associate Professor Gigi Foster for her expert overview of the results.
Read the Overview by Gigi Foster, Associate Professor, University of New South Wales Australia Business School
View Peter Martin's article in the SMH - "The market in news is broken"