American Journalism and "Fake News"
Examining the Facts
by Seth Ashley, Jessica Roberts, and Adam Maksl
December 2018, 239pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-6183-3
$63, £47, 55€, A86
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-6184-0
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Half of U.S. journalists now consider themselves political independents, the largest number in at least 40 years.

This book provides a comprehensive and impartial overview of the state of American journalism and news-gathering in the 21st century, with a special focus on the rise—and meaning—of “fake news.”

A part of ABC-CLIO’s Examining the Facts series, which uses evidence-based documentation to examine the veracity of claims and beliefs about high-profile issues in American culture and politics, this volume examines beliefs, claims, and myths about American journalism and news media. It offers a comprehensive overview of the field of American journalism, including contemporary issues and historical foundations, and places modern problems such as “fake news” and misinformation in the context of larger technological and economic forces.

The book illustrates the strengths and weaknesses of journalistic practices so readers can feel empowered to navigate the complex information environment in which we live and to understand the level to which various news sources can (or can’t) be trusted to provide accurate and timely coverage of issues and events of import to the public and the nation. These skills and knowledge structures are necessary for any citizen who wishes to be an informed participant in a self-governing democratic society.


  • Reflects an easy-to-navigate question-and-answer format
  • Uses quantifiable data from respected sources as the foundation for examining every issue
  • Provides readers with leads to conduct further research in extensive Further Reading sections accompanying each entry
  • Analyzes claims made by individuals and groups of all political backgrounds and ideologies to fairly represent a diversity of perspectives
Seth Ashley, PhD, is associate professor of journalism and media studies at Boise State University. His research on media literacy, media sociology, and communication policy has been published in the Journal of Media Literacy Education; Communication Law and Policy; Journalism & Mass Communication Educator; Communication and the Public; Media, War & Conflict; and Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media. Ashley earned his PhD and MA at the University of Missouri School of Journalism. He has worked as a writer and editor for newspapers and magazines and as a designer and technician for film, theater, and music.

Jessica Roberts, PhD, is assistant professor of communication studies in the School of Human Sciences, Universidade Católica Portuguesa in Lisbon. Her recent research on citizen journalism and social media has been published in Journalism and the International Journal of Communication. Roberts earned her PhD at the University of Maryland and her MA at the University of Southern California.

Adam Maksl, PhD, is an associate professor of journalism and media at Indiana University Southeast, where he teaches digital journalism and social media classes, advises the multiplatform student news laboratory, and researches news and media literacy. Maksl's research has been published in top-rated journals in his field, including Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly; Journalism & Mass Communication Educator; Journal of Media Literacy Education; Electronic News; and Cyberpsychology, Behavior & Social Networking. Maksl has a PhD in journalism from the University of Missouri and an MA in journalism from Ball State University.

Contemporary Debates

Each title in the Contemporary Debates series examines the veracity of controversial claims or beliefs surrounding a major political/cultural issue in the United States. The purpose of the series is to give readers a clear and unbiased understanding of current issues by informing them about falsehoods, half-truths, and misconceptions—and confirming the factual validity of other assertions—that have gained traction in America's political and cultural discourse. Ultimately, this series gives readers the tools for a fuller understanding of controversial issues, policies, and laws that occupy center stage in American life and politics.
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