It was only with the advent of internet-generated news that the journalistic norms of our era were seriously challenged and fake news became a powerful force again. It can be said that digital news has brought yellow journalism back to a fore. First, the algorithms that create feeds and compilations do not care about accuracy and objectivity. At the same time, digital news trend has undermined the strength - measured in both money and human resources are of traditional, objective, independent press.
But amid all the media wringing their hands about fake news and how to deal with it, one fact seems to be lost: Fake news is not new. They have been around since news became a concept 500 years ago with invention of printing - much longer, in fact, than verified, unbiased news that emerged a little over a century ago. From the very beginning, fake news has been sensational and extreme, fueling passion and prejudice. And this often provoked violence. Nazi propaganda machine relied on the same fake stories about Jews ritually drinking children blood that inspired Prince-Bishop Ginderbach in a 15th century. Perhaps most dangerous is how appallingly persistent and powerful fake news has proven to be. As Pope Sixtus IV found out, wild stories rooted in popular prejudice are often too serious for responsible authorities. With decline of established news outlets, who will stop them today?