US High School Students Learn to Recognize Fake News

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( — April 27, 2018) — Some high school students in the United States and around the world are now learning how to distinguish between false and verified news within the subject of “media literacy,” the Voice of America reports.

Patricia Hunt, a social sciences teacher, uses a digital course titled “Checkology” to provide her students with examples of news and information that is either factually accurate, misleading, or simply untrue.

“Students are bombarded with information, and also with so-called news, fake news, viral rumors and misinformation,” Hunt said.

The teacher hopes the class will help her students to “identify quality journalism when they see it,” and be able to spot stories that are biased, unfair, fake, and propaganda.

Studies show that teens get most of their information on social media and are more likely to trust information they receive from their peers.

Emory Gant, the pupil in Wakefield High School said she is now able to distinguish fake news from real stories.

“Now, I know how to decipher what’s real and what’s fake, and what to look for,” said Amory who admitted that before taking the class, she believed a lot of false information. Now she intends to access social media with more criticality.

According to a former journalist and founder of the nonprofit News Literacy Project, which includes Checkology, launched in 2016, Alan Miller, said that students demonstrate the need for understanding the difference between fake news and real stories.

“I’ve really been struck by how students tend to see all information as created equal,” Miller said.

The story sparked welcoming comments from those who feel the problem is deeply rooted in society. “our pupils should learn who was Ivy Lee first spin doctor hired by John D. Rockefeller (1914), and James Mills journalist BBC (1989) who in 2009 admitted he had lied about events at Tiananmen,” one comment reads.

“Of course, we should not forget CNN’s Christian Amanpour,” another comment served as a reminder on fake news reports that are used to justify air strikes on Serbia. It was later proved that Amanpour lied, but she got her Pulitzer award and remains one of the most influential journalists in the US.