Tekstuele kenmerken van misleidende journalistiek: De zaak-Ramesar

Translated title of the contribution: Textual characteristics of deceptive journalism: the Ramesar case

Charlotte Govaert, Luuk Lagerwerf, Celine Klemm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Trustworthiness is key in journalism, yet some journalists intentionally deceive their audiences by fabricating sources. In 2014, Dutch journalist Perdiep Ramesar was fired from Trouw, an esteemed national newspaper in the Netherlands, after it was discovered that sources in 126 of his articles were ‘non-verifiable’. This poses the question whether untrustworthy news articles may be recognized, for instance by textual characteristics. Using corpus analysis, we searched for systematic differences in source use and presentation comparing Ramesar’s deceptive news articles with two same-sized sets of reliable articles, 1) articles on similar topics from other journalists, and 2) articles with verifiable sources from Ramesar himself. Results indicate that compared to real news sources, fictitious sources are more often secondary definers, who are presented in more stereotypical ways and through more and longer direct quotations.
Translated title of the contributionTextual characteristics of deceptive journalism: the Ramesar case
Original languageDutch
Pages (from-to)61-74
Number of pages14
JournalTijdschrift voor Taalbeheersing
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Journalism ethics
  • Linguistic analysis
  • Content analysis
  • Fraud detection

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