“False News” – how to avoid it

There’s been a lot on the TV and in the media about “false news” recently, with US President Trump mentioning it often in his speeches and tweets. What can you do to recognise it, and how can you avoid it?

There’s been a lot on the TV and in the media about “false news” recently, with US President Trump mentioning it often in his speeches and tweets. What can you do to recognise it, and how can you avoid it?

Sometimes it’s easy to be taken in by a story that might be fabricated, or which might include incorrect facts. Even the best of us can be taken in by it, for example Khawaja Muhammad Asif, the Defence Minister for Pakistan, who believed a false story which reported that Israel had threatened Pakistan with nuclear weapons. How can you ensure that you only use reliable sources for your news information? Try the following:

  • When looking for UK related news via newspapers, use what’s known as either the quality press, or broadsheets, so The Times; Independent; Daily Telegraph; and The Guardian.
  • Avoid articles from tabloid newspapers in your academic work. Wikipedia has recently stopped their editors using the Daily Mail as a source, after finding it “generally unreliable”. Read more about it here.
  • Twitter user Vanessa Otero has made a chart about news sources, which outlines the level of journalistic quality, and where on the political spectrum various news outlets sit. You might find this helpful.

You can also employ techniques of critical thinking. Check out this animation which describes what it involves. There are workshops you can attend about critical thinking that you can sign up to, and resources in NOW Help and the Skills for Success website about evaluating resources.

 

“False News” – how to avoid it

Published on 27 February 2017
  • Category: Library

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