Special Reports

Fake News: How Universities Educate the Public About Credible Journalism


The rise of fake news has been one of the biggest discussion points of corporate and consumer culture over the last six months and reached its peak in 2016 during the elections and the scrutiny of the false stories coming out of social media outlets.In the middle of these fake news frenzy, even universities are now taking steps to cut the impact of the spread of fake news and how responsible journalism can take back its credibility.

Johnny Sparks, journalism department chair at Ball State University, said that specific to journalism alone, America is now in a serious crisis when it comes to differentiating what is real from what is not, USA Today College reported. He also added that educators have a responsibility when it comes to training and educating students as journalists.

Educating and equipping these students how to be cautious and how to decipher accurate information it not simple, especially when the demand for their technical skills continues to grow, Sparks said. And in line with this he is currently working to bring the journalism curricula "back to basics" with the aim of encouraging more critical thinking and stronger news judgment.

This step supports the argument of Philip Seargeant and Caroline Tagg of the Open University and Amy Brown of the University of Nottingham Ningbo which advise institutions to teach students "critical digital literacy" which will increase the awareness to address issues of how social media play a role in the dissemination of news and other information.

According to Times Higher Education, the universities are the ideal places to educate people about these issues. He also added that it would be relevant to the students' academic studies.

He explained how important it is for students to really get formal education from their universities so that they can be equipped when it comes to filtering fake news.

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