During the Trump presidency, “fake news” was a term often used as a synonym for “news that comes to a conclusion that I disagree with.” The focus of this session is not fake news, but rather how to spot the news misinformation and disinformation that students are so vulnerable to. Today’s news landscape is complex and largely unregulated, and students need to learn how to critically analyze the news they receive in order to make informed decisions and participate in the sharing of information in a responsible and ethical way. Presenters will share the lesson plan from an interactive workshop that uses disinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic as a framework for introducing key terms like confirmation bias, filter bubbles, algorithmic bias, and the attention economy in the context of online news. The workshop introduces the “SIFT four moves” for students to use when evaluating a source: stop, investigate the source, find better coverage, and trace claims, quotes, and media to the original context. Students are also introduced to fact-checking tools for news and social media such as Factcheck.org, Tineye, and Botometer and given activities where they apply this information to determine news credibility. The workshop aims to increase student’s sense of agency in discerning the legitimacy of news sources, ultimately making them more deliberate and reflective citizens.
Acosta, E.S., Archambault, S. G., Jackson, J., & Weiss, A. (2021, July). The misinformation pandemic: Who can you trust? Presentation at the National Association of Media Literacy Education Virtual Conference. Available at: https://works.bepress.com/elisa_acosta/29/