The first of April traditionally brings with it pranks and jokes, with journalists often getting in on the gag and many publications running spoof articles that have readers gasping in disbelief.
In an era of fake news, however, the practice has lost some steam. In fact, April Fools’ reports and fake news are first cousins, say researchers, according to this report by Sunday World.
The researchers reportedly found that April Fools’ hoax stories, when compared to genuine news, are generally shorter in length; use more unique words; use longer sentences; are easier to read; refer to vague events in the future; contain more references to the present; are less interested in past events; contain fewer proper nouns; and use more first-person pronouns.
In light of throwing caution to the wind, many news outlets, News24 included, opted not to publish April Fools’ content, but some chose to have a laugh.
These were some of the gags that fooled consumers of news on April 1:
Springboks to be renamed ‘The Zebras’
TV news outlet eNCA reported that the Springboks would now be known as “the Zebras”, and claimed to have exclusive pictures of the new national kit, that would debut at the World Cup in September. Photoshopped images showing the new jersey, “a skin-tight black and white jersey, with a grey collar” were also published.
Not everybody got the joke, though. One Tebogo tweeted: “Why is the rugby team being called the Zebras??? Imagine now watching rugby and shouting “ZEBRAS!!!” I’m sorry, I’ll still call them Bokke. Zebras sounds weak.”
A giant statue of Ace
Volksblad, an Afrikaans-language daily newspaper distributed in the Free State, ran a story stating that the head of a statue of former Boer republic president MT Steyn would be removed and replaced with that of Russian dictator Joseph Stalin.
The paper also said a 10-metre statue of ANC secretary general and former Free State premier Ace Magashule would be erected in the province. It quoted a bogus spokesperson who said Magashule had done many good things for the province and that the statue should be as tall as the Jesus statue in Rio de Janeiro to honour the former premier.
Magashule has been under the spotlight since the publication of Gangster State: Unravelling Ace Magashule’s Web of Capture by journalist Pieter-Louis Myburgh on Sunday.
Lick your cellphone to taste food
Business Insider reported that Pick n Pay had made a bogus announcement that it had developed an in-app function that allows users to taste and smell food on their cellphones.
The publication published hilarious videos of gullible people smelling or licking their smartphones after installing Pick n Pay’s new “app”.
No more Afrikaans for you
In a joint gag with Afrikaans daily Beeld, Pretoria-based radio station Groot FM announced that it would henceforth be broadcasting in English only for the first hour of its breakfast show. The station said it was complying with new broadcasting regulations that forced it to broadcast at least half its content in English. This had its mainly Afrikaans-speaking audience hot under the collar. One caller requested that Afrikaans subtitles be used.
Talk Radio 702 announced that its morning host, Bongani Bingwa, would be interviewing tainted US singer R Kelly. Kelly has been making headlines for alleged sexual misconduct. The interview never happened.
So, should you read or hear something today that seems less plausible than the standard South African news offering, chances are you’re being duped. Happy April Fools’ Day. Be careful out there.
Source link : https://allafrica.com/stories/201904020232.html
Publish date : 2019-04-02 09:10:57