Nation: Jess Berentson-Shaw on ‘fake news’ and it’s effect on our lives

There could be more fake claims about fake news than there is fake news. Media is rightly being criticised for lack of care in reporting, and for slanted reporting, but generally newspapers correct news that they get wrong.

But who should correct those who use ‘fake news’ accusations as an attempt to discredit news or opinions they don’t like or don’t want published?

On Newshub Nation this morning:

And as hundreds of newspapers across the US fight back against President Donald Trump’s attack on the media, we speak to author Jess Berentson-Shaw about the prevalence of Fake News and the effect it’s having on our day-to-day lives

A book by Berentson-Shaw – A Matter of Fact: Talking Truth in a Post-Truth World – was recently launched, and was the basis of a panel discussion last weekend,

Dr Jess Berentson-Shaw describes misinformation as ‘sticky’, says it is very hard to change someone’s mind once they are convinced of a falsehood, regardless of what evidence they are presented

She says misinformation is not new, the Trump administration just gave it a new name with ‘alternative facts


  1. Gezza

     /  18th August 2018


    • Kitty Catkin

       /  19th August 2018


      It’s its when it’s the possessive of it, it’s it’s when it’s it’s as in it is.

      • Gezza

         /  19th August 2018

        Or to put it more simply – the only time it’s it’s is when it means it is (or it has).

        That its easiest iteration to remember. I don’t think it’s ever failed me.

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  19th August 2018

          I couldn’t resist making it into a word puzzle lookalike.

          Do you know this one ?

          Punctuate the following so that it makes sense.

          Tom where Joe had had had had had had had had had had had more success with the examiner.

          • Gezza

             /  19th August 2018

            Tom – where Joe had had “had had” – had had “had had had”, & had more success with the examiner.

        • Gezza

           /  19th August 2018

          Actually I mis-remembered that. The phrase we were taught was:

          “The only times it’s has an apostrophe is when it means it is (or it has)”.

  2. Gezza

     /  18th August 2018

    Institute for Governance and Policy Studies About us Our people Senior Associates
    Dr Jess Berentson-Shaw

    Jess is a New Zealand researcher, writer and communicator, interested in the values that inform the development and implementation of evidence-based policy.

    She is also interested in how we build public and political support for socio-economic, cultural, and environmental solutions to the big social and economic problems of our time.

    Contact details

    Dr Jess Berentson-Shaw’s focus is starting and contributing to conversations about public policy that matters to those people most affected and who’s voices are less frequently heard. In terms of best evidence, Jess is interested in what works to deliver equity in wellbeing, and achieve a more inclusive New Zealand. Her work to date spans the social, economic and political spectrum. Jess was awarded a PhD in Health Psychology from Victoria University in 2003 and has worked in both the UK and New Zealand applying evidence to achieve equity.

    In recent years, Jess has returned to her psychology roots, focussing on policy communications that “go with the grain of cognition”. That is how do we better connect people with what matters, what is true, and what to do in public policy using the science of communication?

    In 2017, Jess published Pennies from Heaven, a book that investigates the most effective policy for moving families and children out of poverty.

    Jess is co-director of the think and do tank, The Workshop

    Public communications
    Jess commentates on policy in a wide range of media, including Newsroom, The Spinoff, the Wireless and RNZ. She can be found on Twitter at @DrJessBerentson

  3. sorethumb

     /  18th August 2018

    Not reporting is also Fake News

    SONJA DAVIES was only in Parliament for six years. But, she could hardly have chosen a worse six-year period to be a Labour MP. Her time as MP for the Wellington seat of Pencarrow (1987-1993) coincided with the crescendo of Rogernomics and the splitting of the Labour Party. It was not a happy time for the celebrated feminist and trade union fighter, and she was only too happy to hand her seat over to Trevor Mallard and get out.

    It wasn’t just the awfulness of life in the Labour Party in the late-1980s and early-90s that depressed Sonja Davies. As a shrewd observer of both local and international politics, she rapidly became aware that New Zealand was passing through a period of fundamental cultural and economic re-orientation. What concerned her most was how little New Zealanders were being told and, therefore, how little they knew, about the changes that were radically reshaping what it means to be a New Zealander.

    “If people had any idea about the scale of these changes,” she confided to me early in her first term as MP for Pencarrow,” they’d be horrified. It’s been decided that New Zealand’s future lies in Asia. That’s got massive implications – but most people haven’t a clue. No one asked them and certainly no one’s telling them.”

  4. Corky

     /  18th August 2018

    ”NZ Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor, Kaitohutohu Mātanga Pūtaiao Matua ki te ‘Pirimia.”

    Tips: find shared values ahead of sharing evidence; think beyond political and budget cycles; cross boundaries

    I’m tapping out.

  5. Chuck Bird

     /  18th August 2018

    She’s a Feminazi.

    • Gezza

       /  18th August 2018

      Are you sure? I have established 4 categories for my own classification purposes, when necessary:

      1. Women – these ones are great, most people like them.
      2. Feminists – some of these ones are ok. They mean well & haven’t lost the plot.
      3. Radfems – these ones get on other women’s tits because they say they all have to be rocket scientists & if they just want to be a stay-at-home mum for a while they must be retards or doormats
      4. Feminazis – nobody but other feminazis can stand these misandrist fascists. They want to subjugate or preferable eliminate all men if at all possible. Often lesbians other lesbians don’t like. They should never be allowed into the field of stem cell science.

  6. sorethumb

     /  18th August 2018

    The whole “fake news” thing is presented by the left as “Trump lies about the media (but we do our best and are basically honest”. The problem is that today the two main ideologies are globalism and nationalism and the media are 90% globalist. Kim Hill this morning is a good example being completely blind to the point of being unable to have a discussion about the alt-right. In other words bias.

    If you were to analyse coverage of immigration over the years it is mainly positive. When a negative opinion makes it through it is like wow!? The problem is cliques control the media. On the one hand Russell Brown types and on the other the high flying mega wealthy businessmen who rely on immigration to flow through their industries.

    Jonathon Haidt and Jordan Peterson cover this in a video describing religious thinking around immigration and that recently the wagons have circled and whereas once the liberals would give a point or two away now they wont budge on any point>

  7. sorethumb

     /  18th August 2018

    The government want one million people to speak te reo. At present <4% oblige but they have the media on their side. What could be more fake news than that? It is the media's job to explain that this is just the tail wagging the dog. Instead Kim Hill argues "it's in the charter". If it is in the charter to jump off a cliff would we do it? It is a flawed idea which assumes everything is on track and going magnificently. We are diverse and smiling and loving the Asian food and Diwali festivals: just one small problem though: you smelly colonists who stole the Maori's land and dedvistated a culture you will have a room in the dorm with all the other ethnicities while Maori will have the manor house.

    • Gezza

       /  18th August 2018


    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  18th August 2018

      If the “Treaty” wasn’t favourable to Maori (or reinterpreted so as to be) would we hear a word about it?