All the ‘news’ about Google and Facebook looking to address the issue of fake news site makes you question where the line actually sits between fake and not fake.
I’m resisting to write ‘true’ news here because I wonder if there even is such a thing, in the truest possible sense. Surely any reporting on any subject having issues with the observer’s paradox alone. Plus limitations of language, nuance, unavoidable social bias and simple practically of ensuring that you have fact checked all the possible information.
The BBC has a fun experiment / quiz in this sense, asking Can you spot the fake stories?. The second question has this fantastic description:
Some fake new stories are completely false, often intentionally so. Others fall into the category of being distorted or misleading but not totally false, usually with the aim of generating likes, shares and ad revenue.
I think this could actually be the most accurate and transparent definition of what news actually is. Far better at least than saying news is just “newly received or noteworthy information, especially about recent events.”. Without mentioning ‘truth’, that definition could almost forgive the ‘fake news’ sites.