FAKE NEWS/DISINFORMATION/PSEUDOSCIENCE

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ARE YOU "NEWS LITERATE? "  ACCORDING TO NYU/STONYBROOK'S CENTER FOR NEWS LITERACY, YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO:

  • Recognize the difference between journalism and other kinds of information and between journalists and other purveyors of information;

  • Separate news from opinion in the context of journalism;

  • Analyze the differences between assertion and verification and between evidence and inference in a news report;

  • Evaluate and deconstruct news reports based on the quality of evidence presented and the reliability of sources, and to understand and apply these principles across all news platforms;

  • Distinguish between news media bias and audience bias.

ACCORDING TO CNL, NEWS LITERACY IS A PREREQUISITE TO A FREE SOCIETY. THEY ARE PROPONENTS OF:

  • Appreciation of the power of reliable information and the importance of the free flow of information in a democratic society;

  • Understanding why news matters and why becoming a more discerning news consumer can change individual lives and the life of the country;

  • Understanding of how journalists work and make decisions and why they make mistakes;

  • Understanding how the digital revolution and the structural changes in the news media can affect news consumers, and our new responsibilities as publishers as well as consumers.

Tips for Spotting Fake News, Disinformation, and Pseudoscience

Adapted from Steve Inskeep's NPR piece on Fake News:

  • Is the story so outrageous you can't believe it?

  • Is the story so outrageous you do beleive it?

  • Does the headline match the article?

  • Does the article match the news story it's lifted from?

  • Are the quotes in context?

  • Is the story set in the future?

  • Does the story attack a generic enemy?

  • Are you asked to rely on one killer factoid?

  • Who is the news source?  Do they employ editors?

  • Are you told "Trust me?" rather than given evidence?

  • Did the writer engage with or interview anyone who disagrees?

Adapted from Wynne Davis's NPR piece on Fake Science

  • Pay attention to the domain and url.

  • Read the "About us" section.

  • Are there "expert testimony" quotations? Are they authentic?

  • Check the comments sections.

  • Do a "reverse image search."