Hillcroft LRC

The colour of truth

Posted on: February 3, 2017

google-newspaper

Newspaper by Pietro and Sylvia is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Western world has exploded with news about fake news. What does it mean and who cares?

What is fake news?

It’s hard to define but fake news are headlines and stories which are completely untrustworthy and inaccurate. The content may be full of deliberately misleading facts or just plain lies. Fake news is often more emotive than real news. It can be obvious but most likely it is hard to spot fake news.

Why should we care?

The media can play a big part in shaping people’s reactions and beliefs every day. It is particularly worth paying close attention to potentially deceitful news stories because no one wants to be taken for a ride and duped. It’s good practice to apply critical thinking to everything you read whether or not it relates directly to your studies.

We’re used to news at its best being written by journalists and editors with expertise, authority and a sense of responsibility to portray world events from a balanced viewpoint. However, with the rise of social media like Facebook and Twitter the creation of news is getting further away from those trusted news sources and professional practices. Everyone should care about what they are learning and sharing with others. Everyone should know what information is shaping their opinions and those of their friends and family.

Spotting fake news

IFLA recommend applying 8 thoughts to online news stories including: consider the source, check the date, see who the author is and investigate the supporting links.

What is truth anyway?

Deciding what is true and what is made up is a life skill. Recently I came across a quotation that summed up the current attention on distinguishing fact vs fiction. It’s the idea that there is no easy way to tell if something’s true.

‘The color of truth is gray’ André Gide.

Life’s complex, there are many blurry areas.

Good newspapers available in the LRC

Don’t worry too much though! We’re here to help evaluate information and provide trustworthy news sources like: The Guardian, the i, First News, Easy News, The Voice, The Surrey Comet. 

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