Highlights from our lecture “Biased: How to Spot Fake News in an Election Year” with Professor Kyle Moody

Blog post by Marketing and Outreach Associate, Becca Boudreau

On May 9th, the Topsfield Town Library welcomed Professor Kyle Moody (Framingham State University) for a discussion on news media spotting Fake News. If you missed this talk, we have some highlights for you, so you can arm yourself with tools to become a critical thinker and expert at spotting fake, misrepresented, and sensationalized news.

This media bias chart  is an excellent resource for discovering how reliable a news source is and where their bias leans. It’s important to remember that if you see a lot of emotional language being used in a headline or news story (especially online!), that is a signal that the story may be biased one way or another. These stories are trying to get readers to click on their content using emotional manipulation and inflammatory language. By reading multiple news sources from differing perspectives, you can critically evaluate the information being presented and make a more informed analysis of the information.

This How to Spot Fake News graphic (right) is a quick tool for deciding how much to trust a news story. Sometimes finding accurate information can take a few extra clicks, but you can also quickly fact check using some of the links on the Fitchburg State University page on fighting against fake news. Sites like Politifact, Snopes, and FactCheck.org are excellent tools for checking specific news stories, political claims, conspiracy theories, and more! The Topsfield Library also has great resources on our website.  We hope these resources help you in your quest for knowledge. Or at the very least, whether or not to believe that sensational story from Facebook!

View the slides from this presentation here!

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