Ever year, the Oxford Dictionaries select a word that they think attracted the most interest during that particular year. Last year, that word was ‘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’”.
This was something quite different to the parody news shows like Jon Stewart’s Daily Shows or our own ZANews that had been around for a while and actually helped audiences understand news better because they highlighted contradictions or absurdities without pretending to be the real thing.
A few months later: January 2017. Barely has the new leader of the Free World unpacked his extra-strong hairspray in the White House bathroom, or his press secretary Sean Spicer meets the press for the first time and elaborates on the post-truth theme, inflating the size of the audience at Donald Trump’s inauguration and making a series of incorrect claims about the day’s events.