Do you cringe at the thought of another tweet about “fake news”? What with unprecedented presidential accusations about the Russian dossier, media in general, CNN in particular, and reports on government, health care, employment, and other vital issues, is “fake news” a retaliatory slap, slippery slogan, or actual state of affairs in today’s political arena?
Information intending to influence or sway public opinion has long existed in various forms, from a 1545 woodcut commissioned by Martin Luther of German peasants responding to a papal bull, to the iconic “I Want You” Uncle Sam poster used for army recruiting during the WWI. It has been called propaganda, yellow journalism, alternative facts for purposeful bad information, misinformation, misleading information, even lack of information. In the hotbed of social media, where Internet entrepreneurs like Mark Zuckerberg are testifying before Congress, we need to look even more closely at how news is portrayed, delivered, and received.
How do we assess trustworthiness? With the growing need for media literacy and real evidence-based teaching (with a tip of the hat to Margaret Crocco), “What’s Real in the Media?” presents the thinking behind “fake news” to enlighten our role as consumers, educators, and citizens.
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Last Updated: 6:12 am, Monday, Apr 2 , 2018