What's Fake News Got to Do With Folklore? WKU Professor Explores Connections in New Article

Oct 26, 2018

President Donald Trump made "fake news" a internationally-known term during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Credit Creative Commons/Gage Skidmore

Some researchers from Western Kentucky University are taking a unique perspective on the phenomenon known as “fake news.”

Editors of the Journal of American Folklore, currently based in the Department of Folk Studies and Anthropology at WKU, have dedicated the latest issue of the publication to the topic of fake news.

WKU Professor Timothy Evans said the term means different things to different people.


“But from the point of view of a folklorist, fake news overlaps with many topics that have been studied by folklorists for a long time—things like legends, urban legends, rumor, conspiracy theories—things of that kind,” Evans said.

Evans authored an article about the so-called “Bowling Green Massacre” that appears in the Journal of American Folklore issue about fake news.

You can hear Evans talk more about looking at fake news through the perspective of a folklorist by clicking on the Listen button above.