A Florida chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has applied for a trademark for the term “fake news.” Emily Bloch of Teen Vogue says the SPJ’s application is unlikely to be approved, but they intend to make a point with their satire by trolling the president with letters of protest every time he uses the phrase, warning him he is infringing on a pending trademark.
“Referring to factual stories that are critical of your administration as FAKE NEWS (TM pending) is indeed trademark infringement,” the letters state. “You may not be aware, but your misuse of the term FAKE NEWS (TM pending) has greatly confused the American people and shaken their trust in the journalism that’s so vital to our democracy.”
The SPJ also created a website to teach readers how to spot a credible story or a lack of credibility.
“The grand irony in all this is something I worry the general public might not realize – namely, that journalists follow ethical codes and face losing our jobs and getting blacklisted by the industry if we so much as think about presenting ‘fake news.’ (Although, even these kinds of ethical standards have ways of being warped, as the president’s favorite news channel knows all too well.),” she writes.