Anyone in need of some Thanksgiving Day discussion can thank the people at the Oxford Dictionaries and their selection of “post-truth” as the word of year for 2016. For those unfamiliar with the term, post-truth is an adjective, defined as ‘relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief’. Oxford Dictionaries cited a spike in the frequency of the use of the word, especially as it pertained to the Brexit in the United Kingdom and the recent presidential election in the United States. It has become associated with one noun in particular thanks to these events: politics.
post-truth – an adjective defined as ‘relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief’
The compound word draws on an expansion of the prefix “post” which most traditionally would merely suggest the time after a specified event, such as a game. Now it incorporates the more complex idea of “belonging to a time in which the specified concept has become unimportant or irrelevant”.
In our efforts to keep pace with the ever changing landscape of media, our senior staff here at the Sider Press decided to analyze and discuss what the choice of this word says about the society we live in and the role media will play in this new “post-truth’ world we have entered into. We recorded and shared our discussion below. The members of the conversation are all current staff members of the Sider Press, along with the Digital Journalism teacher here at OHS.
The voices heard in the conversation are senior staff members of the Sider Press: Julia Feldis, Ariel Harsinay, Chelsea Jones, Jane Kroll, Dylan Rosenthal, and Julia Woods. They are accompanied by the Digital Journalism teacher Mr. Howley.