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Fake News: Separating Truth From Fiction: 2. Current News Landscape

News Today

The Internet has led to a huge decline in traditional news sources.  In 2011, CNN fired 50 full time photographers and journalist as part of a plan to rely more heavily on its citizen journalists via iReport.  As newspapers have collapsed, blogs and other sources have stepped in to fill the gap with people that often lack the journalistic qualifications and knowledge needed to verify information. In a rush to be the first to release breaking news, facts are cross-referenced with Wikipedia or left behind altogether.

News on Social Media

Facebook has come under fire recently for its handling of fake news.  However, the problem is larger than Facebook.  A Pew Research Study from May 2016, found that 62% of adults get news on social media, and 18% of them rely on news through social media regularly.  Like Facebook users, Reddit, Twitter, and Tumblr users consume huge amounts of news on those sites as well.

Most People Can Spot Fake News Right? Wrong!

A November, 2016 Stanford University study of over 7800 students from middle school through college found that over 80% of middle school students could not distinguish legitimate news from ad-sponsored and fake news. College students had difficulty identifying activist posts in social media and potential bias.  These are digital natives, yet have great difficulty evaluating and determining the legitimacy of information.


Denzel Addresses Fake News