25 Apr 2021
By Katie Hendry, Grade 5 Homeroom Teacher and Literacy/English Leader
We live in a time where we are constantly being bombarded with information, through rolling news channels and social media platforms. Students have access to all sorts of information from official and unofficial sources, which can be overwhelming.
At Dwight School Dubai, teaching media literacy has never been more important, so that students can understand the difference between satire, clickbait, propaganda and general fake news. As IB learners, students need to have the knowledge and understanding of how to decipher between fake news and understand what’s relevant and what’s accurate as the storm of information comes their way every day.
Teachers and librarians are great experts in this arena, and are always there to help guide students to reliable news sources. Dwight School recommends these simple research skills, which will help students avoid academic dishonesty and become strong thinkers.
Listen to the radio interview of Katie Hendry with Dubai Eye about How to Spot Fake News
Check the source and its author
Are you familiar with the source, is it reliable? What about the author? Look into their credibility. Are they really trustworthy experts on the topic? This step of investigating will help you as you reference an academic piece of writing.
Pay attention to the headline and bylines
Always read beyond the headline to check the source's credibility. Writers use the headlines as clickbait to grab their readers attention. Headlines and bylines are sure ways to be deceiving if the audience is not careful. Remember the headline doesn’t always tell the truth, read the entire story to check its credibility.
Examine the evidence in the news piece
Check the writer’s quotes, facts and citations to see if they are reliable and true. In addition, check the date as some distorted stories change the publication dates of old news stories to produce fake news.
Use your judgement
Before sharing the next post on a topic that grabbed your attention, take some time to investigate the trustworthiness of the source by checking to see if other reliable news sources have released information on the same topic.
Check with an expert
Your teachers and librarians are great experts and will help guide you to reliable sources. Once you find a reliable site, continue to read the latest news from that site to get your daily dose of current events. Lastly, you can use fact checking websites, these fact checkers are paid to identify fake news. Check out www.factcheckers.org and www.snopes.com.
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