Post-post-truth: An adaptationist theory of journalistic verism

Yigal Godler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


In the age of post-truth, media studies find themselves trapped between the desire to restore journalism’s authority as a veristic (truth-seeking) institution and the lack of a coherent, applicable and consensual theory of truth. In order to develop such a theory of truth, this study bases itself on a detailed picture of how a sample of mainstream Israeli journalists covered 20 cases of factual controversies, drawing on journalists’ own accounts of their work, an independent analysis of documents they relied on, as well as their published output. Findings show that during actual situations of coverage journalists’ operative conceptions of truth match, at a minimum, the theories of coherence, correspondence and pragmatism. I argue that a novel adaptationist theory of truth may not only provide an adequate description of journalists’ actual pursuit of truth, but also contribute to their reflexivity vis-à-vis the inevitable context-dependence of their own veristic criteria.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-187
Number of pages19
JournalCommunication Theory
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2 May 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Evidence
  • Facts
  • Journalism
  • Philosophy
  • Truth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Communication
  • Linguistics and Language


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