Fake news is not a new phenomenon.
In The Long and Brutal History of Fake News, Soll (2016), writing in Politico, states that:
fake news soon became prevalent at the same time that news began to circulate widely, after Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press in 1439 and that "real” news was hard to verify in that era.
Although there were many news sources—from official publications by political and religious authorities, to individual eyewitness accounts, there was no concept of journalistic ethics or objectivity.
The rise of internet-generated news seriously challenged journalistic norms, and fake news became a pervasive force. Digital news has brought yellow journalism back to the forefront. Algorithms that create news feeds and compilations have no regard for accuracy and objectivity. At the same time, the digital news trend has decimated the force—measured in both money and human resources—of the traditional, objectively minded, independent press.
Soll concludes that real news is not coming back in any tangible way on a competitive local level, or as a driver of opinion in a world where the majority of the population does not rely on professionally reported news sources and so much news is filtered via social media, and by governments; as real news recedes, fake news will grow.