by Humera Gul
How fake news plays a daily role in people’s lives through modern media was the premise of a workshop organized by Central Connecticut State University librarians and the Department of Journalism on April 6, called “Fake news, can you spot it?”
They introduced four different literacy speakers: journalism professor Theodora Ruhs and librarians Martha Kruy, Briana McGuckin and Susan Slaga-Metivier.
Ruhs started off the workshop, speaking about fake news and how people can spot it and stop it.
Fake news is a new term that has been used not only to describe fabricated information, but also to refer to media outlets that report against their beliefs. This has led to a lot of well-known and credible newspapers and media outlets being labeled fake news.
“Fake news is intended to give you misinformation,” said Ruhs.
Fake news’ intention is to spread false information to motivate or demotivate a person or group, but it is common for news outlets to make mistakes and that is not to be classified as fake news.
“Credible news sources make mistakes. News sources that are not [as] credible sometimes have great information. When we are talking about fake news, that means the information is not true,” Ruhs said. “Biased news is generally based on factual information, but it is presenting a particular viewpoint.”
“All information is shared and created by people. Humans engage in things like logical fallacies [resulting in] a mistaken belief,” McGuckin said, explaining information literacy is when people define, evaluate and use information to spread an agenda, often times resulting in fake news.
The people that attended the workshops were divided in three groups. Each group was given 10 minutes to read, watch and analyze news and determine if they felt the news sources were credible or not. This exercise also helped them to realize how people react to fake news or information that is not true.
The information portrayed at this workshop is crucial to understanding and distinguishing fake news. The discussion was open to the public. A second workshop will be held Thursday, April 20.