A discourse analytical look at how fake news website De Nieuwe Media deploys journalistic terminology

Over the last decade, the internet, social media, and the COVID-19 pandemic have contributed
to the rapid spread of phenomena like (online) conspiracy theories, misinformation, and
disinformation. There are dedicated websites that are used solely for the dissemination of
information disorder. Conspiracy theories and disinformation run rampant on these ‘fake
news websites’. One such fake news website is the Dutch website www.de-nieuwe-media.nl.
On their website, the anonymous editors of De Nieuwe Media liberally deploy journalistic
terminology ‘above the fold’. The current analysis uses Claire Wardle’s concept of information
disorder and Alba-Juez & Lachlan Mackenzie’s definition of fake news as a discursive genre
through the discourse analytical lens of indexicality to scrutinize how this deployment of
journalistic terminology is used to deceptively enregister their content below the fold as
reliable news.


Ruben den Boer

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Digital Humanities Tilburg