Debunking News as a Journalistic Genre: From the Inverted Pyramid to a Circular Writing Model

Paula Herrero-Diz, David Varona-Aramburu, Marta Pérez-Escolar


This research identifies the common elements present in debunking news that define this sort of information as a new journalistic genre. For this purpose, after a standard literature review related to journalistic genres, fake news, fact-checking, and the state of journalism, a qualitative methodology consisting of a content analysis of 60 debunk news from (the United States) and (Spain) and interviews with editors (5) of the fact-checking platforms were carried out. Findings indicate a circular writing structure with common elements present in debunk news: A headline that points out and stresses the falsehood; a first paragraph that presents the origin of the disinformation; a body of the text that exposes the evidence found when analyzing the facts; and finally, a closing paragraph, that is the final verdict, that asserts whether the news is true or false, underlines the truth, and labels the credibility of the information.


debunk, disinformation, fact-checking, journalism, journalistic genres

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