Communication professors to lead crash course on fake news

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With the information we are given today, it can be hard to decipher what is real and what is fake. After the 2016 election, “Fake-News” has been a prominent topic of discussion throughout the media. From Fox-news to the New York Times, how are we able to decide what is authentic or not?

On Thursday, April 6 at the Albertsons Library, Communication Professors Seth Ashley and Jessica Roberts will lead a teach-in to help community members learn to combat fake news and alternative facts while providing a chance to learn more about media literacy.

Dr. Jessica Roberts is looking forward to the participation from the community in this workshop.

“I think this is something that affects everyone, so it’s also something that everyone needs to think about and should be concerned about.” Roberts said.

According to Roberts, fake news is spreading like a wildfire throughout the media today, the only way to know what to do is to educate yourself on the issue. Roberts and Ashley hope to help people think about what fake news is and what to do about it.

“We’re thinking of how fake news complicates things for people—it discredits journalist and makes it more difficult hard for people to trust information, especially in our particularly bipartisan, politically divisive time,” Roberts said. “It makes it hard for people to have conversations based on a shared set of facts about the world.”

Roberts continued to argue not only are these “alternative facts” providing incorrect information, they also become a hassle for those to seek out the truth. She said “fake news” is contributing to the political split we are seeing throughout the country today.

Sophomore media arts major Rogaciano Huitron is taking Introduction to Media with Roberts. He said fake news affects him through social media and created a sense of being misinformed.

“I start forming ideas and opinions that are based on incorrect facts.” Huitron said. “Thanks to my intro to media class, I’ve learned to spot fake news and have learned quite a bit about it. I still want to learn about how to fight it as well as how to make it less prevalent.”

Senior mathematics major Sarah Alley agreed, and said fake news is an inconvenience for everyone, especially for those who don’t have the proper education in media literacy.

“It’s mostly an inconvenience because I try to find multiple articles on whatever the fake news is and it doesn’t exist, so I waste my time.” Alley said

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