April 5, 2018  |  Updated February 13, 2019

The Lie is Not the Story: Practicing Journalism in the Information Age

By Dean Jackson

In April 2015, Russian media reported that a ten-year-old girl was killed by Ukrainian artillery shelling in the country’s Petrovsky region. Journalists on the scene rushed to confirm her death, a tragic casualty of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. They interviewed townspeople, military commanders, and even the staff of the local hospital and morgue.

They never found her because she never existed: a mere figment of the disinformation infamously deployed in that conflict, an inflammatory invention meant to stir local resentment of the Ukrainian government. In short, it was all a purposeful lie.

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