Pundits say we’re living in “a post-truth era”, where facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than emotion and public belief. Fake news is all over the internet and is believed to have influenced the United States presidential election.

Have lies become a commodity? Don’t we value authenticity anymore? And what does all this mean for brands? Nic, James and Sarah have a passionate discussion in this week’s Brand Newsroom.


Here are some key take-outs:

  • It’s getting harder to tell what news is real and what’s fake. Social media platforms like Facebook have allowed this “news” to spread without any of the fact-checking traditional media has always done.
  • This is happening at a time when traditional journalism is under threat, newsrooms are shrinking and quality control is disappearing.

“Once a traditional media source reports it, that legitimizes it, so shame on them if they’re doing it just to get numbers.” — Sarah


  • This is a huge opportunity for brands. If the traditional media channels are fragmenting and collapsing, then brands have the opportunity to provide the information for their industry and to become the trusted source.
  • Smart brands are hiring the reporters, photographers, sub-editors — all the talented people — who have been let go by traditional newsrooms and putting them to work on content for their brand.

“This year was just the entrée. The main course and the dessert hasn’t even kicked in yet. I’m absolutely terrified.” — James


  • There is also an opportunity for traditional news media, the big ones with an established reputation, to become a credible source of news and reinvigorate their business.

“I think the media has left the door wide open and brands should walk right through it and just assume the role of the media.” — Sarah


Here are the links you might need


Have you heard the one about

Here’s that discussion on traditional media adapting to digital with Ben Martin, which Sarah mentioned:


The team was recently joined by Nenad Senic for a discussion about print, too.


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