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Message from the IPRA President: The IPRA Code of Conduct in the Era of Alternative Facts February 2017

The Economist Magazine runs a column called Johnson in which the meaning of words and the use of words is discussed. In his recent column Johnson seeks the Word of the Year for 2016 and chooses “Post-truth.” Another word of phrase struck me at the beginning of 2017 in connection with the US Presidential election. This came about after a statement about President Trump’s inauguration by the White House press secretary (a professional communicator), Sean Spicer: “This was the largest inauguration audience ever”, he said to the assembled media in the briefing room, while at the same moment social media showed pictures of rows of empty seats. In an attempt to clarify, the President’s counselor (another professional communicator), Kellyanne Conway, told NBC’s Meet the Press TV programme that Spicer had merely been offering “alternative facts.” This made me wonder about the idea of “alternative facts.”

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