The Newsstand: Columbia Journalism Review Brings Fake News to Life

In this technological day and age, it’s so easy to be connected and get your news from anywhere online, especially through social media.  On Tuesday October 30th, the Columbia Journalism Review and creative agency TBWA\ Chiat\ Day New York created a newsstand in the middle of the busy streets of New York City. The Columbia Journalism Review (CJR), published by the Columbia Journalism School and is the world leader in press criticism and reporting, along with  TBWA\Chiat\ Day New York took false headlines that were shared all over social media and placed them on believable covers of what looked to be legitimate magazines and newspapers, watched people pick up these magazines and newspapers and read them. The campaign was shared on social media and these photos were found on Columbia’s instagram story.

Photo courtesy of Columbia

CJR did this to bring attention to a real world issue of misinformation, what is popularly known as “fake news,” how susceptible people are to believing it, as well as where are people getting their information. The newsstand was inspired by “Real Journalism Matters,” an ad campaign also developed by the CJR and TBWA/ Chiat /Day New York that happened earlier this year.

The goal of The Newsstand was to show people how to recognize false facts and to fact check their news, especially since the midterm elections are now less than a week away. Inside the magazines were guides on how to spot misinformation and ways to fact check.


Photos courtesy of Columbia

In their press release Kyle Poper, editor and publisher of the Columbia Journalism Review stated, “We embarked on this initiative to help people spot disinformation. For the first time, we’re taking false stories from the digital space into the physical space and placing it directly in the hands of real people. It makes these stories tangible in a way that forces you to think about the source of the information.”

According to the Pew Research Center, “As of August 2017, two-thirds (67%) of Americans report that they get at least some of their news on social media – with two-in-ten doing so often,”

Photos courtesy of CJR Newsstand

You can find out more about the Newsstand right here.

How do we fight this? Where do we get credible sources? We can help with that. Just by being a George Mason student you can get a free subscription to the New York Times. This is such a useful way for you as a college student to stay informed on real world current topics and not fall for false headlines. You can sign up here.

Photo courtesy of Salma Hamze

You can also sign up for The Morning Briefing by the New York Times, which is “What you need to know to start your day, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.” You  will be getting the Times at 6am in your inbox, the writers take stories that are happening and put the important parts into bullet points where you are able to have at least a general idea of what’s going on with all the links to the articles attached. Sign up here. Photos courtesy of Salma Hamze

Stay informed.

Factcheck your sources.

Don’t fall for fake news.