It is a fact of life that some people do not watch the news because they find it depressing. It is another fact that many people are fascinated by conspiracy theories such as the Illuminati. Award-winning journalist of 30 years and author of the new book, Truthteller: An Investigative Reporter’s Journey Through the World of Truth Prevention, Fake News and Conspiracy Theories (Exisle Publishing, May 7), Stephen Davis, discussed how both cases are basically like falling into a trap. “Well, if you try to avoid the news, you’re actually just playing into the hand of the people who want to get away with lying to you,” Davis told So Booking Cool.
As for the Illuminati, (Davis credits Dan Brown for inventing it in his book, Angels & Demons) he said, “In the recent Christchurch shooting, there was a picture of the gunman in court and somebody claimed that he was making a sign with his hand that said he was a member of the Illuminati, but these are all distractions. While people are believing these and chatting about these, they’re missing the real things that are happening to their society, the real things that governments and politicians are doing. That’s why governments and politicians more or less like conspiracy theories, because it helps them to hide the truth.”
Davis believes many are lost in the noise of social media and misinformation as well as disinformation, which inspired him to write Truthteller. In the anti-fake-news book, the New Zealander reveals how governments and corporations cover up murder, corruption, and more. From as early as age 10, the writer had his sights on journalism. Initially, he thought he would become a sports reporter, but after watching All the President’s Men, he was compelled to pursue investigative reporting. “I like tough challenges,” he said. “I like to try and find out a story that someone doesn’t want me to find out.” Davis has not only written and edited articles, he’s also produced specials for 60 Minutes and 20/20 and film-documentaries for BBC and Discovery. Additionally, he has founded journalism programs and has taught thousands of students.
Listen to the interview to learn more about Davis, how to find reliable news sources, the problem he sees with young journalists and what he’s learned in his career, why he thinks Facebook is problematic, his advice for journalism teachers, why writing a book was the hardest job he’s done yet, details on his next book, and more! For more information, visit Davis’ official website.