Britain's Channel 4, Finnish Production Company Set Programs, Formats on Fake News

Courtesy of Channel 4

Channel 4 will feature a programming focus dubbed 'Fake News Week' in early February, while Aito has unveiled an entertainment show format featuring celebrity contestants.

With fake news making headlines and being a hot topic around the world, it is no wonder that TV is starting to take it on in some programming. 

Britain's Channel 4 will examine fake news in a weeklong programming focus starting on Feb. 6, which it is dubbing Fake News Week. And a Finnish production firm recently unveiled new entertainment format Fake News that it is pitching to networks.

Channel 4 said it is looking to put the spotlight on fake news and hoaxes in a broader sense.

"After investigating last year the burgeoning cottage industry producing fake online news, Channel 4 News will explore where fake news comes from and its implications in a number of reports, interviews and discussions, working with its award-winning Fact Check team," the broadcaster said. The team, founded in 2005, has broadened its remit and will be hosting an interactive Q&A on the subject on Facebook Live.

Channel 4 will also feature other related programming. They include documentary Confessions of a Paparazzo, described as "a candid and entertaining insight into the world of celebrity paparazzo and master of deception George Bamby," and Britain’s Greatest Hoaxer, about Simon Brodkin, who made headlines by showering former FIFA head Sepp Blatter in bank notes and storming Kanye West’s stage at the Glastonbury festival. 

Channel 4 will also air a one-off 30-minute program with the working title The Fake News Show, promising a panel of "some of the sharpest and funniest minds [who] will dissect some of the outlandish headlines, dodgy photo-shops and all-too-believable viral clips. It promises to answer such questions as: Is a rocket launched into space by the Nazis in 1944 really about to hit the U.K.? Was a monkey in France really tasered after a chocolate-fueled bender? Does Russia really have compromising videos of Donald Trump?

Meanwhile, Finnish production company Aito Media introduced its Fake News format at the recent Realscreen Summit in Washington, DC. The show will challenge celebrity contestants to separate real from fake news or create fake news of their own. 

"Fake News builds on a phenomenon highlighted by the past U.S. presidential elections," said Aito CEO Ilkka Hynninen. "It is getting increasingly hard to separate real news from fake news. The timing for our show is perfect."

Added Eero Hietala, the creative director and chairman of Aito: "The audience is addicted to bogus and totally fake news. We want to harness this addiction with a show that is at the same time entertaining, but also exposes the way we consume media."

The format will be distributed by Small World IFT.