'Fake news' named 2017's word of the year

Donald Trump regularly calls news networks he doesn't like 'fake'.
Donald Trump regularly calls news networks he doesn't like 'fake'. Photo credit: Newshub.

Dictionary publisher Collins has named 'fake news' as 2017's word of the year - it's true.

Usage of the phrase, popularised by US President Donald Trump, has increased 365 percent since 2016.

According to the dictionary, fake news is "false - often sensational - information disseminated under the guise of news reporting".

"It's everywhere," spokeswoman Lucy Mangan wrote on the Collins blog.

"Trolls are now coordinating. Partisan news channels no longer verify anything. Newspapers still try but print journalism's entire fact-checking service is just one guy frantically sifting through a yellowing set of cuttings in a shed in Des Moines while he tries to call experts on a landline the Russians cut off months ago.

"Democracy, as we knew it, is over. Propaganda is king. Happy Bonfire Night! Burn everything," Ms Mangan wrote. 

Mr Trump recently claimed to have invented the phrase 'fake news', but Collins says it first emerged in the early 2000s on current affairs comedy shows like The Daily Show.

"During the 2016 US presidential campaign pundits noted the large number of websites broadcasting false stories about the candidates under the guise of news," Collins said in a statement.

"Then in January 2017 Donald Trump dismissed reports from the CNN news agency about his alleged links with Russia as 'fake news'. Claims that potentially damaging stories were 'fake news', and enquiries into the proliferation of such stories were a major part of the news agenda in 2017."

'Fake news' beat out 4.5 billion other words in the Collins database, including runners-up 'gig economy', 'echo chamber', 'cuffing season' and perhaps most oddly, 'unicorn'.

Unicorn, which dates back 800 years, has made a comeback in marketing, with a number of products using the mythical creature in their branding.