Fake news – the fabrication of facts possibly for economic or nefarious political ends – is rearranging popular dialogue, said Victorian President of the Public Relations Institute of Australia, Mr Alex Messina.

Social platforms can serve up deliberate disinformation with potential for a viral spread at light speed.

Add to this the global allegations of fake news influencing Brexit and the US election, and a US President who has made the two words his battle cry against a critical media, and we have a potential crisis of faith in news and information.

Senator Sam Dastyari, who is sitting on the Senate Select Committee investigating the issue in Australia, will present his views at the upcoming Public Relations Institute of Australia breakfast.

Senator Dastyari will outline his interpretation and definition of fake news, describe the extent of the threat, and propose his view on what may need to be done.

The session will be introduced by Mr Gordon Farrer, the chief investigator for RMIT ABC Fact Check and a lecturer in the RMIT School of Media and Communication's journalism. 

The Victorian President of PRIA, Mr Messina, said this is a vital and present issue for all communicators.

"PRIA's code of ethics binds our professionals and we recognise that the openness and transparency though authentic communication is critical to the reputation of all communicators and all organisations that communicate publicly.

"We believe that understanding, calling out and eradicating the propagation of fake is a critical part of our professional duty.

"I invite all practitioners to attend this important session that will help build knowledge and defences against fake news."

Media inquiries: Alex Messina, Victorian President, PRIA, 0413 316 478

WHO: Senator Sam Dastyari (suppoted by Gordon Farrer from RMIT Fact Check Unit)
WHAT: PRIA Breakfast on "The Fake News Threat"
WHERE: Clemenger BBDO Level 3, 474 St Kilda Road Melbourne, Victoria 3004
WHEN: Friday, 22 September 2017, 7.30am (sharp) – 9.00am