Most fairytales start with descriptions of the beautiful young princess, happy and waiting for her prince to come into the picture. More often than not, there’s an obstacle, a villain that gets in the way, be it a jealous stepsister or a wicked witch. Regardless, good always triumphs evil and the princess always lives happily ever after. This is not that fairytale. Or at least, not quite, for today’s proverbial princess (the protagonist in this tale at least), is no damsel in distress, and is not reliant on the brave knight or dashing young prince to rescue her; that would be far too anti-feminist. But let’s begin, shall we, and see what’s what?.The Pencil Sword was always the mightiest in the land, writing story after story of perfectly curated prose, reported fact, and more. Words were picked for their perfect symbolism as well as realism, curated like the most masterful of artists curates his own work. No word sat upon the page without a purpose, nothing felt remotely “off”, and every read left with the desired emotion. The Pencil Sword was revered, respected, and even recognised with pomp and pageantry through awards after awards. He true love was the written word itself, and the joy and knowledge it brought to those who read her words. It was a role many admired, thousands worked towards, and yet only the very best made the crop. The Pencil Sword is of course in this case the writer, a journalist of absolute merit who weaves narratives together like spun gold and earns great acclaim for their delivery of real stories about real people, from battle trenches to great adventures and scientific discoveries..The Pencil Sword continued for decades with no real foe, but alas that tranquility was soon thrown aside, outside of her comfort zone and into utter turmoil. With time, a nemesis emerged greater than any wicked witch, however, and who threatened to run amok in the most dangerous of ways: casting aspersion on the very integrity of the written word itself. What, you may wonder? Fake news. Worst of all, she exists in absolute disguise, indeed as most villains do, masquerading as fact and causing utter confusion and chaos at every turn. Fake news is false information which has been crafted and shared, usually for a purpose. Perhaps to persuade you to believe something about a person or influence you to behave in a certain way. It has seen an unprecedented increase of use, in fact up 365% since 2016 and was named Collins’ Word of the Year 2017. Fake news is no new occurrence; she’s existed for decades on end if not longer, but on many occasions chosen to remain in her terrible slumber, thus putting minds at ease around how detrimental to society she could be. Today, however, she shows no restrain, boldly wielding her dark magic before all, and now serving as the greatest threat to true journalism as delivered by the wonderful Pencil Sword..Supported by her band of digital keyboard warriors (many good, but who have turned to the dark side), she can only be truly slain by the potent combination of truth and integrity. Thought the battle may last for years, she will ultimately be defeated, but of course our brave Pencil Sword must also call on a band of mighty men and women to help her in her cause. In the world of communication, we are all those men and women, and we all have a duty to identify, report and kill fake news and the spread of disinformation. We have an ethical as well as moral duty to do so as vanguards of communication within the infodemic we are living in. There are many examples of the dangers of fake news and disinformation in action, and oftentimes just as many examples of people working to battle this infodemic with great success. Unfortunately for the Pencil Sword, it is not as simple a fairytale ending when the villain has a large enough army, but as we remain in a gloriously modern era, we can build our own fairytale just as we want it, in which no matter what, journalistic integrity stands strong, the Pencil Sword remains illustriously powerful and protected, and communications professionals help shape the narrative the way it rightly (and factually should be). The end.