Thursday, 2 March 2017

Fake news

 In Times where newspapers and networks are accused of bringing fake-news to the people it makes sense to ask yourself the question, now what is "fake news. In 2016 Stanford University researchers made an alarming discovery: across the US, many students can’t tell the difference between a reported news article, a persuasive opinion piece, and a corporate ad. This lack of media literacy makes young people vulnerable to getting duped by “fake news” — which can have real consequences. This excellent article by Laura McClure  (an award-winning journalist and the TED-Ed Editor) made this interesting post, I love to share with you.

Animation by Augenblick Studios

Want to strengthen your own ability to tell real news from fake news? Start by asking these five questions of any news item.

Animation by Patrick Smith

Who wrote it? Real news contains the real byline of a real journalist dedicated to the truth. Fake news (including “sponsored content” and traditional corporate ads) does not. Once you find the byline, look at the writer’s bio. This can help you identify whether the item you’re reading is a reported news article (written by a journalist with the intent to inform), a persuasive opinion piece (written by an industry expert with a point of view), or something else entirely.

Animation by Patrick Smith

What claims does it make? Real news will include multiple primary sources when discussing a controversial claim. Fake news may include fake sources, false urls, and/or “alternative facts” that can be disproven through further research. When in doubt, dig deeper. Facts can be verified.

Animation by Martina Meštrović

When was it published? Look at the publication date. If it’s breaking news, be extra careful. Use this tipsheet to decode breaking news.

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Where was it published? Real news is published by trustworthy media outlets with a strong fact-checking record, such as the BBC, NPR, ProPublica, Mother Jones, and Wired. (To learn more about any media outlet, look at their About page and examine their published body of work.) If you get your news primarily via social media, try to verify that the information is accurate before you share it. (On Twitter, for example, you might look for the blue “verified” checkmark next to a media outlet name to double-check a publication source before sharing a link.)

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How does it make you feel? Fake news, like all propaganda, is designed to make you feel strong emotions. So if you read a news item that makes you feel super angry, pause and take a deep breath. Then, double-check the item’s claims by comparing it to the news on any three of the media outlets listed above — and decide for yourself if the item is real news or fake news. Bottom line: Don’t believe everything you read. There is no substitute for critical thinking.

Animation by TED-Ed

If you get in the habit of asking all 5 of these questions whenever you read a news article, then your basic news literacy skills will start to grow stronger. However, these are just the basics! To dive deeper into news and media literacy, watch the TED-Ed Lesson: How to choose your news. To find out more about what students need, read the Stanford University report, published here.

Animation by Augenblick Studios



  1. One of the first things I learned in my journalism class was that the following elements had to be met: Who, What, When and How and if possible, Why. All stories had to have at least two sources and if there was an anonymous source, it had to be substantiated with at least 2 other sources. Your opinion or point of view had no business in the story unless it was an editorial piece. Nowadays, I see articles in mainstream media that years ago even the Enquirer would have hesitated to publish. Sorry for my rambling...the false and misleading press is a real sore spot with me. :(

    Hugs and blessings...Cat

  2. I remember a very old movie with Clark Gable - he was a newspaper reporter and was teaching supposed newbie Doris Day the ins and outs of reporting. - He emphasized those very questions.

  3. Very well Said, Han.
    Now, can you send it to Mr. Trump, Please .
    Because, you know, What hapoend in Sweden?

    Mona Lisa


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