Combating Fake News: How to Protect Our Profession, Clients and Companies

March 3, 2017

A few years ago, a university journalism professor invited me to speak to his propaganda class.

While offended that my honorable profession was being lumped into a propaganda class, I accepted an order to educate young minds on PRSA’s Code of Ethics and to put this into daily practice.

In preparing for the presentation, I gained an understanding of how the two could be confused as a similar practice. After World War I, when many warring nations extensively used propaganda under the guise of “public relations” efforts, a huge backlash arose against government being in the “PR” business. Under the Gillett Amendment, government job titles were changed to public information or public affairs officers, which stands today.

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