Advice On How To Spot ‘Fake News’

BOSTON (CBS) – We’ve been hearing a lot about “fake news” from President Trump and many others these days.

So what does it mean?

Here’s how the popular fact-checking site Politifact defines it:

Fake news is made-up stuff, masterfully manipulated to look like credible journalistic reports that are easily spread online to large audiences willing to believe the fictions and spread the word.

About ten years ago, Stony Brook University pioneered a course called News Literacy.

It teaches students the basics of news — what is a good source, and a weak one, how to spot an agenda in a news story, how to spot propaganda and a public relations push.

“We had to teach the audience what is reliable information and what was bunk,” Stony Brook journalism school dean Howard Schneider told WBZ NewsRadio 1030.

Schneider, a former editor of Newsday who crafted the course, says there are degrees of fake.

“And then there is unreliable news, news that basically has some basis of fact in it. But it’s deceptive, it’s incomplete, it’s unfair, it’s misleading,” Schneider told WBZ.

He notes there are questions consumers can ask themselves to determine whether news is legitimate or fake.

“Is the information verified? Is the information independent? Is it coming to you from someone who has no ax to grind? Is the information accountable?,” Schneider said.

Full disclosure – WBZ’s Karyn Regal taught this course at Stony Brook and knows Schneider personally. 

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Karyn Regal reports

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