Civic Talk is an ongoing blog series from Generation Citizen where we offer our perspectives on political, cultural, and global news through the lens of civic action and education, and share the articles and resources that have helped to shape our understanding.
“Fake news.” Who is creating it, how it spreads, and what we can do about it are topics that have circulated since the election, along with more fake news itself. A new study published amidst the media frenzy reveals the real danger of fake news: young people are largely unable to distinguish between authentic news and fiction that is designed to look truthful. The consequences of this have the potential to be vast when it comes to how young people shape their perspectives and make decisions related to current events and political action. Civic education can and should be a vital line of defense, boosting students’ critical thinking skills and giving them the tools to find and assess diverse news sources, effectively differentiating between real and fake. As media (fake and real) saturation continues, it is incumbent upon us, as civic educators, and upon teachers across the country, to ensure that media literacy is part of every student’s education.
These articles, which include news, feature, and opinion pieces, have helped shape our understanding of the “fake news” conversation:
- Most Students Don’t Know When News Is Fake, Stanford Study Finds, Wall Street Journal
- Who’s to blame for fake news?, Los Angeles Times
- Feds charge pizza gunman and fake news consumer Edgar Maddison Welch, Christian Science Monitor
- Many Americans Believe Fake News Is Sowing Confusion, PEW
- Fake Or Real? How To Self-Check The News And Get The Facts, NPR