Pew Survey: Fake News Causing Current Event Confusion

In what is good news for those who make a living out of edited, curated and fact-checked journalism, two-thirds of the respondents to a new Pew Research Center survey say fake news stories cause a lot of confusion about the basic facts of current events.

Fake news has been in the real news of late after the spreading of a fake story about a Washington, D.C., pizzeria led to a shooting and the dismissal of a Donald Trump advisor.

The survey, which was conducted among 1,002 adults, revealed that about a quarter of those respondents (24%) had shared a made-up news story, with 14% of those saying they knew it was fake when they did so.

And while most have concerns, a majority feel they are pretty good at identifying fabricated stories.

The survey found that 39% feel "very confident" they can spot the fakes, with 45% saying they were "somewhat confident."

The phone survey was conducted Dec. 1-4 with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.6 percentage points.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.