Posted by: denaragoble | November 6, 2017

Fake News or the Truth? That is the Question of the Day

In Combating Fake News: An Agenda for Research and Action, the authors distinguish between biased news, misinformation, disinformation, and propaganda from fake news and define fake news as “misinformation that has the trappings of traditional news media (pp. 4).”  I think all of these  news types meld together to create “fake news.”  As we can see from the 2016 presidential election and the Las Vegas shooting, fake news is sometimes very hard to identify.  Especially when it starts popping up on trusted news sites that are supposed to combat fake news (Wakabayashi & Qiu, 2017).  Our country is so divided right now, I think it’s easier for fake news or alternative facts to be taken as the truth.  During the debates of the 2016 presidential election, so many facts are spouted off, it’s impossible to know if all of them are true.  If someone isn’t media literate they won’t be inclined to do their own research and fact check.  Luckily, there are groups that are helping bring media literacy education to the classroom.  Groups such as the National Association of Media Literacy Education and The News Literacy Project are helping teach media literacy to students at a younger age.  Because even though kids these days spend more time online and are more digitally connected, that doesn’t mean they know how to analyze, synthesize, and evaluate the information they find.

Koc, M. & Barut, E. (2016).  Development and validation of New Media Literacy Scale (NMLS) for university students.  Computers in Human Behavior, 63, pp. 834-843.

Lazer, D., Baum, M., Grinberg, N., Friedland, L., Joseph, K., Hobbs, W., & Mattsson, C. (2017).  Combating Fake News: An Agenda for Research and Action.  Conference held February 17-18, 2017.

National Association for Media Literacy Education. https://namle.net/

The News Literacy Project.  http://thenewsliteracyproject.org/

Wakabayashi, D. & Qiu, L. (2017, October 18).  Google Serves Fake News Ads in an Unlikely Place: Fact-Checking Sites.  The New York Times, pp. B1.

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