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CCTea Podcast: Episode 8 (Fake News with Dr. Michael Koliska)


We’ve heard from current students. We’ve heard from CCT alumni. Now Kevin and Zach sit down with Georgetown CCT professor and media scholar Dr. Michael Koliska to discuss journalism and the impact of fake news on the industry.

Piggybacking off the last episode about Internet Urban Legends, Episode 8 seeks to understand what happens when fabricated (or false) information online makes it way into our news feeds. Dr. Koliska discusses how trust becomes exploited when irresistible gossip and misinformation make the rounds on the internet, the importance of transparency from news organizations, and on the flip side, the importance of media literacy from consumers of news.

Is fake news unique to the Digital Age? How do factors like time, trust, and authority help dictate what we believe in the news we read or watch? Today, the tea will tell.

Table of Contents

0:00 – Lead-In
0:55 – Introducing Dr. Michael Koliska
1:40 – From Tall Tales to Fake News
4:30 – The Irresistibility of Misinformation
5:30 – Conflated Terms in the Mainstream
6:35 – Perceptual Limitations & Exploited Trust
9:30 – Algorthmic Transparency
12:10 – Sharing As Surveillance
13:00 – Hindrances to Transparency (Cost & Time)
14:45 – Why Be Transparent?
17:00 – News As Entertainment (s/o Neil Postman)
18:25 – The Privilege of Information
19:30 – Shrinking Attention Spans
20:50 – A Complex Conundrum
22:30 – The Digital Divide
24:35 – Emphasizing Media Literacy
27:30 – Kevin’s Cold Take



“Transparency is the new objectivity.” – David Weinberger

Guess, A., Nagler, J., & Tucker, J. (2019). Less than you think: Prevalence and predictors of fake news dissemination on Facebook. Science Advances, 5(1), eaau4586.

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