Warm and Fuzzy Fake News: Tribute Newspapers as a Folk Tradition


Russell Frank (Pennsylvania State University)

Fake front pages are churned out by newspapers all across the land, either to commemorate milestone birthdays or as parting gifts. In an era when there has been much hand-wringing about the perniciousness of fake news, this presentation celebrates the newsroom tradition of real reporters producing fake news as a way of paying tribute to a beloved colleague. Underpinning this presentation are two assumptions: that the world of the newsroom constitutes an occupational culture that, like all occupational cultures, develops its own rituals; and that certain kinds of fake news may be considered a genre of contemporary folklore.

Part of 54-03 News, Politics, and Humor, Friday, October 22, 2:00 pm–3:30 pm