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BY 4.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter Open Access July 23, 2019

Fake News and Propaganda: A Critical Discourse Research Perspective

  • Iulian Vamanu
From the journal Open Information Science


Having been invoked as a disturbing factor in recent elections across the globe, fake news has become a frequent object of inquiry for scholars and practitioners in various fields of study and practice. My article draws intellectual resources from Library and Information Science, Communication Studies, Argumentation Theory, and Discourse Research to examine propagandistic dimensions of fake news and to suggest possible ways in which scientific research can inform practices of epistemic self-defense. Specifically, the article focuses on a cluster of fake news of potentially propagandistic import, employs a framework developed within Argumentation Theory to explore ten ways in which fake news may be used as propaganda, and suggests how Critical Discourse Research, an emerging cluster of theoretical and methodological approaches to discourses, may provide people with useful tools for identifying and debunking fake news stories. My study has potential implications for further research and for literacy practices. In particular, it encourages empirical studies of its guiding premise that people who became familiar with certain research methods are less susceptible to fake news. It also contributes to the design of effective research literacy practices.


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Received: 2018-09-25
Accepted: 2019-05-09
Published Online: 2019-07-23

© 2019 Iulian Vamanu, published by De Gruyter Open

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Public License.

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