Fake news as a floating signifier: hegemony, antagonism and the politics of falsehood

Johan Farkas, Jannick Schou

Publikation: Artikel i tidsskrift og konference artikel i tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


‘Fake news’ has emerged as a global buzzword. While prominent media outlets, such as The New York Times, CNN, and CBS, have used the term to designate misleading information spread through websites, President Donald Trump has recently used the term as a negative designation of these very ‘mainstream media’. In this article, we argue that the concept of ‘fake news’ has become an important component in contemporary political struggles. We showcase how the term is utilised by different positions within the social space as a means of discrediting, attacking and delegitimising political opponents. Excavating three central moments within the construction of ‘fake news’, we argue that the term has increasingly become a ‘floating signifier’: a signifier lodged in-between different hegemonic projects seeking to provide an image of how society is and ought to be structured. By approaching ‘fake news’ from the viewpoint of discourse theory, the paper reframes the current stakes of the debate and contributes with new insights into the function and consequences of ‘fake news’ as a novel political category.
TidsskriftJavnost - The Public: Journal of the European Institute for Communication and Culture
Udgave nummer3
Sider (fra-til)298–314
StatusUdgivet - 10 aug. 2018


Dyk ned i forskningsemnerne om 'Fake news as a floating signifier: hegemony, antagonism and the politics of falsehood'. Sammen danner de et unikt fingeraftryk.