With the FIFA world cup taking place in Russia this month, and with the European Championships being held in France, Spain and Italy on the horizon, it is clear that the competition is heating up in the news media.
The problem for journalists covering the tournament, however, is that they are also exposed to a growing number of media outlets that are hostile to the tournament.
The main reason is the amount of fake news on the internet, and the fact that media outlets are only as trustworthy as their audience, says Mario Marzano, professor of journalism at Milan University and co-author of the book Failed: The New Media, Journalism and the Future of Journalism.
“The media are not only making up stories, but also providing the tools to spread those stories and the tools that can be used to spread them.
And that is what makes them adversarial,” he told Al Jazeera.
The problem for the journalists in the fieldThe fact that the media are so adversarial means that their stories are not as accurate, according to Marzanos, and also that the information being disseminated is often distorted.
When a journalist goes to the press for an article, he or she will receive the news in a variety of languages, with different opinions, with differing perspectives and with differing levels of trustworthiness, according a new report released by the Media and Communications Union (CCU).
The report, titled The Challenge of Truth in the Information Age , is a survey of the journalists working in the fields of politics, sport, journalism and social media.
“They are exposed to more adversarial and less trusted media, with many of them being confronted by a lack of information and a lack (of) trust in the mainstream media,” Marzani told Al-Jazeera.
“A lot of journalists are not even aware that there are outlets that do not accept them as reporters, as they are not accredited to do so,” he added.
Marzano’s study suggests that journalists are also facing the threat of fake and biased information.
In order to be trusted as a journalist, a journalist must first be familiar with the fact of being a journalist and the information they receive, said Marzanos report.
“There is no shortage of information out there, but a lot of it is created through propaganda,” Marza said.
“We are talking about a fake news industry that is pushing stories in order to boost their sales and their profits.
And we are talking, I would say, about a very important industry that creates a lot more fake news than we have been talking about.”
Marzans study found that journalists were often reluctant to publish stories, given that the content of the information was often distorted, and often, fake.
“Many journalists are very suspicious of the fact and credibility of the news sources they receive,” Marzano told Al Jazeera.
“[And] if they do publish the truth, then they don’t think that it is a good or reliable source.
So they are very sceptical about the source of the truth.”
And, according the report, journalists are increasingly seeing their stories being used as a tool to influence voters and voters being swayed by false information.
“It is quite clear that journalists have become less trustworthy in this environment,” Marzo said.
So, the challenge for the media is to better protect themselves against these new media, and to become more trustworthy, according Marzans report.