Barometer of coverage on disinformation in the French media

Newsback, a platform that evaluates the authenticity of information (origin, dissemination, alteration), has published its second barometer of coverage on disinformation in the French media for the period between January and September 2022.


Covid-19, the war in Ukraine, energy, the climate: Which themes associated with fake news have dominated the media landscape?


The number of topics associated with disinformation is on the rise again.




12,337: the monthly number of mentions of ‘disinformation' in French media – print, online, radio, TV - in 2022; that’s nearly 400 per day.


The Russian offensive on Ukraine in March, peaked as the most written about subject in the context of disinformation.


From the denial of the Boutcha massacre by Vladimir Putin’s regime, to cyber attacks carried out by botnets, including sophisticated campaigns duplicating fake media sites, disinformation about the conflict was the focus of nearly 23,500 articles.

Since the beginning of the year, this subject represented 35% of all media coverage about disinformation, considerably ahead of Covid-19 which was still the dominant theme at the start of the year.

Fears associated with the current energy crisis are causing a rise in the number of stories linking different types of energy with fake news. These stories had been in continuous decline since the peak last March, which focused on the wind vs nuclear debate against the backdrop of the French presidential elections.

Since July, an increase in discussions around disinformation in the energy sector is linked to both extreme weather events this summer and the consequences of the war in Ukraine.


Methodology


The study was carried out between 1 January and 30 September 2022 by Tagaday, the leading French media platform. This ranking was established from a sample of 3,000 French publications and editorial web sites, 397 TV and radio stations (more than 5,400 different programmes for 2,000 hours a day, recorded in real time). Articles that appeared in multiple editions of regional print publications were counted only once.