Fake news. These two words are paradoxical in nature, considering that Merriam Webster Dictionary defines journalism as “writing characterized by a direct presentation of facts or description of events without an attempt at interpretation.” In other words, a proper journalist presents facts in a non-biased way — News! However, in recent times, differentiating between credible and non-credible news may not be an easy task. Readers must use critical thinking skills to make a judgement about what they read. Below, we have annotated and analyzed a fake news article taken from yournewswire.com.
Michelle Obama Deletes Hillary Clinton From Twitter
So far, so, so good. There is nothing biased about the headline, and not anything alarmist. Look out for headlines that state an opinion or tell people how they should feel about something. (ex – Michelle Obama’s Actions Should Leave you Outraged!)
Michelle Obama has scrubbed all references to Hillary Clinton from both of her Twitter accounts as news breaks that Clinton is under two different FBI investigations involving four FBI offices.
As a rule, readers should fact check what they read before they repeat any information. A quick check on twitter and snopes.com both prove that Michelle Obama never unfollowed Hillary Clinton.
Is Michelle performing a last minute tidy up, clearing out the clutter before the dumpster fire of the Democratic campaign finally burns out?
The above is an instance of clear bias. Readers should feel wary of what their news says about party and ideology — watch out for name-calling and blaming. Calling the democratic campaign a “dumpster fire,” in this instance, is an opinion and not fact.
Are the Washington elite preparing to move on from Hillary?
The question is supposed to bait readers to agree based on the faulty information given to them. Look at rhetorical questions carefully and ask: can I verify that the information is true? Does it seem like the journalist has a specific angle? What information is left out? Does the journalist have a clean reputation?
Bernie Sanders has also begun to change his tune. A Twitter post today sure didn’t sound like it was referring to Hillary Clinton.
“A twitter post today sure didn’t sound like it was referring to Hillary Clinton” is sarcasm, and therefor not professional. Articles should be accessible to the people, and thus easy to read. Besides adding tone, sarcasm does not state anything outright – it must be inferred from context, and journalists avoid giving readers extra work. One of the most professional things a journalist must do is report facts, so regard breaches in professionalism with skepticism.
Bernie was asked by a supporter about the write-in thing – and his response might surprise you. “If you want to write me in here [Vermont], I think it’s fine.”
Watch out for statements that encourage or even tell readers how they should feel about something.
Now that you’ve been subjected to fake news and some of the tactics used by people who want to manipulate the truth, see if you can tell if this story on prom is fake or real.
A Night at Nease?
Around the last week of school before spring break, it was announced by the Student Council that this year’s prom theme was “A Night in India.” This exotic night would take place at the Renaissance World Golf Village Resort on April 8th, for a fee of $60.00. Rumors, however, have been going around that the theme has been changed and prom will no longer take place at the Renaissance!
Nease’s prom theme is important for students. Usually the theme is super cool and exciting, and that is followed up by the actual prom being enjoyable and fun. The decor and overall feel of the Renaissance Resort are what really make prom special, and the Indian theme was great , so why are things being changed now?
The main rumor going around is that many people couldn’t find anything to wear to fit the theme. So instead of making it Indian, people are saying it’s going to be something we all can pull off…Nease’s spirit! Green and gold will be the main focus of the night,which, according to some people, will also take place in the gym. With that being said the price for tickets will probably go down.
- The story, at first, will not have anecdotes so the reader can make his/her own decisions.