Media crisis and disinformation: the participation of digital newspapers in the dissemination of a denialist hoax



Palabras clave:

Media crisis, Disinformation, Hoaxes, Denialists, Attention economics, News coverage, Science, Social networks, Social media, Three-dimensional study model


Disinformation is a communicative phenomenon that frequently feeds on political or electoral topics, as well as other aspects of our reality. This research takes as a case study the coverage given by the Spanish digital media to a hoax broadcast during the Filomena storm in 2021 that insisted that the snow was plastic. The purpose of this work is to analyze the instrumentalization of fake information as an expression of the information media crisis in the current context of disinformation. We set out four specific objectives: (SO1) to study the spread of the hoax through the media, (SO2) to analyze the construction of headlines in the news pieces, (SO3) to investigate the treatment of the hoax in the content of the pieces, and (SO4) to analyze the sources used in the pieces. To reflect on this phenomenon, we propose a three-dimensional model (structural, economic, and pragmatic) aimed at clarifying the relationship between the logic of the spread of hoaxes on the Internet and the role played by traditional media in their diffusion. The methodology used combines workflow techniques of digital methods with quantitative and content analyses. The results reveal the appropriation of certain communication strategies by digital newspapers aimed at obtaining visits. We conclude that the Spanish media, by adapting to the dynamics of disinformation irresponsibly encouraged by the attention economy, subscribe to and reinforce the crisis of credibility faced by the media ecosystem.


Los datos de descargas todavía no están disponibles.


Al-Rawi, Ahmed (2019). "Gatekeeping fake news discourses on mainstream media versus social media". Social science computer review, v. 37, n. 6, pp. 687-704.

Bakir, Vian; McStay, Andrew (2018). "Fake news and the economy of emotions: Problems, causes, solutions". Digital journalism, v. 6, n. 2, pp. 154-175.

Bastian, Mathieu; Heymann, Sebastien; Jacomy, Mathieu (2009). "Gephi: an open source software for exploring and manipulating networks". In: International AAAI conference on weblogs and social media, pp. 361-362.

Bennett, W. Lance; Livingston, Steven (2018). "The disinformation order: Disruptive communication and the decline of democratic institutions". European journal of communication, v. 33, n. 2, pp. 122-139.

Bharali, Bharati; Goswami, Anupa-Lahkar (2018). "Fake news: Credibility, cultivation syndrome and the new age media". Media watch, v. 9, n. 1, pp. 118-130.

Carrera, Pilar (2018). "Estratagemas de la posverdad". Revista latina de comunicación social, n. 73, pp. 1469-1481.

Casey, Bernadette; Casey, Neil; Calvert, Ben; French, Liam; Lewis, Justin (eds.) (2008). Television studies: the key concepts. New York: Routledge. ISBN: 978 0 415 37149 0

Cervi, Laura; Carrillo-Andrade, Andrea (2019). "Post-verdad y desinformación: uso del análisis del discurso para comprender la creación de narrativas emocionales y rivales en Brexit". Revista comhumanitas, v. 10, n. 2, pp. 125-150.

Chadwick, Andrew (2013). The hybrid media system: Politics and power. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN: 978 0 190696733

Clayton, Katherine; Blair, Spencer; Busam, Jonathan A.; Forstner, Samuel; Glance, John; Green, Guy; Kawata, Anna; Kovvuri, Akhila; Martin, Jonathan; Morgan, Evan; Sandhu, Morgan; Sang, Rachel; Scholz-Bright, Rachel; Welch, Austin T.; Wolff, Andrew G.; Zhou, Amanda; Nyhan, Brendan (2020). "Real solutions for fake news? Measuring the effectiveness of general warnings and fact-check tags in reducing belief in false stories on social media". Political behavior, v. 42, n. 4, pp. 1073-1095.

Costa-Sánchez, Carmen; López-Garcí­a, Xosé (2020). "Comunicación y crisis del coronavirus en España. Primeras lecciones". Profesional de la información, v. 29, n. 3, e290304.

Decker, Ben (2019). Adversarial narratives: A new model for disinformation. Global Desinformation Index.

De-la-Fuente, Manuel; Palomo, Bella; Palau-Sampio, Dolors; Canavilhas, Joí£o; Llorca-Abad, Germán; Sánchez-González, Marí­a (2015). "Interactivity and neojournalism: a professional perspective". In: Meso-Ayerdi, Koldobika; Aguirreazkuenaga-Onaindia, Irati; Larrondo-Ureta; Ainara (eds.). Active audiences and journalism. Analysis of the quality and regulation of the user generated contents. Bilbao: Servicio Editorial de la Universidad del Paí­s Vasco, pp. 211-238. ISBN: 978 84 9082 1008

Del-Fresno-Garcí­a, Miguel (2019). "Desórdenes informativos: sobreexpuestos e infrainformados en la era de la posverdad". El profesional de la información, v. 28, n. 3, e280302.

Del-Hoyo-Hurtado, Mercedes; Garcí­a-Galera, Marí­a-del-Carmen; Blanco-Alfonso, Ignacio (2020). "Desinformación y erosión de la credibilidad periodí­stica en el contexto de las noticias falsas. Estudio de caso". Estudios sobre el mensaje periodí­stico, v. 26, n. 4, pp. 1399-1409.

Dias, Nicholas; Sippitt, Amy (2020). "Researching fact checking: present limitations and future opportunities". Political quarterly, v. 91, n. 3, pp. 605-613.

Ecker, Ullrich K. H.; O´Reilly, Ziggy; Reid, Jesse S.; Chang, Ee-Pin (2020). "The effectiveness of short-format refutational fact-checks". British journal of psychology, v. 111, n. 1, pp. 36-54.

Effron, Daniel A.; Raj, Medha (2019). "Misinformation and morality: Encountering fake-news headlines makes them seem less unethical to publish and share". Psychological science, v. 31, n. 1, pp. 75-87.

Flew, Terry (2019). "Digital communication, the crisis of trust, and the post-global". Communication research and practice, v. 5, n. 1, pp. 4-22.

Fourney, Adam; Racz, Miklos Z.; Ranade, Gireeja; Mobius, Markus; Horvitz, Eric (2017). "Geographic and temporal trends in fake news consumption during the 2016 US presidential election". In: CIKM 2017, Proceedings of the 2017 ACM conference on information and knowledge management, November 6-10, Singapore.

Garcí­a-Galera, Marí­a-Carmen; Valdivia, Angharad (2014). "Prosumidores mediáticos. Cultura participativa de las audiencias y responsabilidad de los medios". Comunicar, v. 22, n. 43, pp. 10-13.

Giglietto, Fabio; Iannelli, Laura; Valeriani, Augusto; Rossi, Luca (2019). ""˜Fake news´ is the invention of a liar: How false information circulates within the hybrid news system". Current sociology, v. 67, n. 4, pp. 625-642.

Graves, Lucas (2017). "Anatomy of a fact check: Objective practice and the contested epistemology of fact checking". Communication, culture & critique, v. 10, n. 3, pp. 518-537.

Graves, Lucas; Anderson, Chris W. (2020). "Discipline and promote: Building infrastructure and managing algorithms in a "˜structured journalism´ project by professional fact-checking groups". New media & society, v. 22, n. 2, pp. 342-360.

Gray, Jonathan; Bounegru, Liliana; Venturini, Tommaso (2020). ""˜Fake news´ as infrastructural uncanny". New media & society, v. 22, n. 2, pp. 317-341.

Guo, Lei (2020). "China´s "˜fake news´ problem: Exploring the spread of online rumors in the government-controlled news media". Digital journalism, v. 8, n. 8, pp. 992-1010.

Han, Byun-Chul (2014). Psicopolí­tica. Barcelona: Herder. ISBN: 978 84 25433986

Himma-Kadakas, Marju (2017). "Alternative facts and fake news entering journalistic content production cycle". Cosmopolitan civil societies: An interdisciplinary journal, v. 9, n. 2, pp. 25-40.

Howard, Philip N.; Woolley, Samuel; Calo, Ryan (2018). "Algorithms, bots, and political communication in the US 2016 election: The challenge of automated political communication for election law and administration". Journal of information technology & politics, v. 15, n. 2, pp. 81-93.

Jí¼nger, Jakob; Keyling, Till (2019). Facepager.

McChesney, Robert W. (2007). Communication revolution: Critical junctures and the future of the media. New York: The New Press. ISBN: 978 1 595582072

Molina, Maria D.; Sundar, S. Shyam; Le, Thai; Lee, Dongwon (2019). ""˜Fake news´ is not simply false information: A concept explication and taxonomy of online content". American behavioral scientist, v. 65, n. 2, pp. 180-212.

Mourí£o, Rachel R.; Robertson, Craig T. (2019). "Fake news as discursive integration: An analysis of sites that publish false, misleading, hyperpartisan and sensational information". Journalism studies, v. 20, n. 14, pp. 2077-2095.

Núñez-Gómez, Patricia; Abuí­n-Vences, Natalia; Sierra-Sánchez, Javier; Mañas-Viniegra, Luis (2020). "El enfoque de la prensa española durante la crisis del Covid-19. Un análisis del framing a través de las portadas de los principales diarios de tirada nacional". Revista latina de comunicación social, n. 78, pp. 41-63.

Nyhan, Brendan; Porter, Ethan; Reifler, Jason; Wood, Thomas J. (2020). "Taking fact-checks literally but not seriously? The effects of journalistic fact-checking on factual beliefs and candidate favorability". Political behavior, v. 42, n. 3, pp. 939-960.

Pariser, Eli (2011). The filter bubble: What the Internet is hiding from you. New York: The Penguin Press. ISBN: 978 0 241954522

Pierri, Francesco; Piccardi, Carlo; Ceri, Stefano (2020). "Topology comparison of Twitter diffusion networks effectively reveals misleading information". Scientific reports, v. 10, n, 1.

Rogers, Richard (2013). Digital methods. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. ISBN: 978 0 262528245

Rogers, Richard (2019). Doing digital methods. Sage. ISBN: 978 1 526487995

Shao, Chengcheng; Hui, Pik-Mai; Cui, Pengshuai; Jiang, Xinwen; Peng, Yuxing (2018). "Tracking and characterizing the competition of fact checking and misinformation: Case studies". IEEE access, v. 6, pp. 75327-75341.

Singer, Jane B. (2018). "Fact-checkers as entrepreneurs". Journalism practice, v. 12, n. 8, pp. 1070-1080.

Tambini, Damian (2017). Fake news: Public policy responses. Media policy brief 20. London: Media Policy Project, London School of Economics and Political Science.

Wardle, Claire (2018). "The need for smarter definitions and practical, timely empirical research on information disorder". Digital journalism, v. 6, n. 8, pp. 951-963.

Weidner, Kelly; Beuk, Frederik; Bal, Anjali (2020). "Fake news and the willingness to share: a schemer schema and confirmatory bias perspective". Journal of product and brand management, v. 29, n. 2, pp. 180-187.

Williams, Bruce A.; Delli-Carpini, Michael X. (2011). After broadcasting news. New York: Cambridge.

Zhao, Zilong; Zhao, Jichang; Sano, Yukie; Levy, Orr; Takayasu, Hideki; Takayasu, Misako; Li, Daqing; Wu, Junjie; Havlin, Shlomo (2020). "Fake news propagates differently from real news even at early stages of spreading". EPJ data science, v. 9, n. 1, pp. 2-14.



Cómo citar

Cano-Orón, L., Calvo, D., Llorca-Abad, G., & Mestre-Pérez, R. (2021). Media crisis and disinformation: the participation of digital newspapers in the dissemination of a denialist hoax. Profesional De La información, 30(4).



Análisis / Analysis