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Sunday, February 26, 2017

The Fake News Epidemic

Fake news has become an epidemic! It's tricked even the best news anchors and stations, such as CNN, Fox, and MSNBC. Teaching students to evaluate sources has become more difficult than ever. Use these great resources to help you and your students identify and spot fake news. 

Looking for a great fake news guide? Look no further than College of the Mainland's Library page titled, "What is Fake News?" COM Librarian Kathryn Park, who is an amazing asset and supporter of educators, has compiled information in an easy to use format that allows students to explore many different takes on fake news. Page tabs include:

  • What is Fake News?
  • Fake News is Not New
  • Fake News & Social Media
  • How to Spot Fake News
  • Fake News Examples
  • Where to Get Your News
Use the website to have students complete a scavenger hunt: 

                                          "What is Fake News?" Scavenger Hunt
1.    Use the tab titled "What is Fake News?" What is the percentage of Americans who had a great deal of confusion with fake news?
               Answer: _______________

2.    Use the tab "What is Fake News?" Read the article titled: “NPR: Can You Tell Fake News From Real? Study Finds Students Have 'Dismaying' Inability’” 
The main point of the article is: students spotted fake news easily and without any problems. 
Circle the correct answer:         True                     False

3.    Use the tab "What is Fake News?"
According to the colorful infograph located in the middle of the page, the definition of "Fake News" is:
Fill in the blanks:
Sites that ______________________ circulate _________________________ stories to _________________ traffic to their page. 

4.    Use the tab “Fake News is Not New”
Fake news stories can often be spotted by their headlines. Which of the titles from the page is NOT a fake news article?
       Radio Stations “Attack by Mars” Panics Thousands
       Broadcast Hysteria: Well’s War of the World and Art of Fake News
       Investigating Reporting in the Digital Era
       Tabloid Television: Popular Journalism and the ‘Other News’

5.    Use the tab "Fake News & Social Media".
Use the chart under "Facebook and Political News" to rank 1-4 the top four political news sites among millennials:
                      ______ Local TV
                      ______ CNN
                      ______ Google News
                      ______ Facebook

6.            Under Fake News & Social Media tab:
Nearly half of readers report that they see fake news stories on their social media at least once a day.
              Circle the correct answer:        True                False

7.  Under "How to Spot Fake News" tab:
Watch the video: "How to Spot Fake News" located in the middle of the page.
According to the video, which of the answers below is NOT one of the five ways to spot fake news?
       check the URL
       ask a friend
       look for unrealistic photos
      check the sources

8. Under the "Fake News Examples" tab, one example of fake news is a tabloid.
Circle the correct answer:        True                False

9. Under "Fake News Examples" tab, fill in the blanks:
The definition of "clickbait" is:  "content whose main purpose is to attract ________________ and encourage ________________ to click on a link to a particular web page (Oxford Living Dictionaries)." 

10. Under "Where to Get Your News" tab:
You are more likely to get reliable news from library databases or Pulitzer Prize Winning News Sources. 
Circle the correct answer:        True                False


Another great way to get students acquainted with and make them aware of fake news is to use: Circular Reporting: How False News Spreads.

Fake news is becoming more and more prominent across social media outlets and television news stations. Helping students understand how to evaluate news sources and why they believe fake news stories is crucial in today's society. 

Make spotting fake news a game in your classroom, and open up the lines of communication for discussing fake news articles and items. 

Happy Fake News Spotting!
Beth, Educator Helper

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