Facing up to fake news

Oliver Herrgesell on the responsibilities of journalists and social media platforms

Oliver Herrgesell, senior vice president of communications at Turner Broadcasting International, moderated the 2016 EACD Forum expert panel discussion on the negative influence of social media on political discourse.

Following the debate he spoke to Communication Director about some of the issues raised by the panellists and audience during the event.

In the interview (watch the full video below) he calls on social media networks to take responsibility for the false information being spread through their platforms, arguing not only is the dissemination of this information bad for societal debate but the loss of credibility of the networks will also hurt their brands:

“Twitter, Google, Facebook – they all said they can act against fake news and they need to.”

Oliver also speaks on how journalists are obligated to cover the statements of politicians or business leaders but suggests this initial reporting should be followed up with journalistic analysis to put these statements into context.


A version of this article orginally appeared on the website of the European Association of Communication Directors as Alternative facts and the media (social and traditional).

For more insights from the 2016 EACD Forum read a review of the event here.

Oliver Herrgesell

Oliver Herrgesell is senior vice president communications, Turner. He is in charge of international communications. Until 2012 he was responsible for communications, public affairs and marketing for RTL Group; before joining the group in Luxembourg in February 2006, he served for six years as deputy head of corporate communications at Europe's leading media company Bertelsmann. Prior to that, he worked in Austria and Germany as a journalist for television broadcasters (ORF, Premiere/Sky Deutschland), magazines (Wiener, Tempo, Stern) and newspapers (Die Woche, Berliner Zeitung). In addition, Herrgesell is member of the board, Save the Children in Germany since January 2010.