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ENC 1101 (Dauer) Life Scenario Essays: Fake News

Fake News Recap

Fake news has been around for centuries, but it is especially relevant in today's political climate. Remember to be aware of the following degrees of fake news:

  • Satire: An extreme exaggeration or humorous spin of a current event. See this example about a professor whose lecture was interrupted by a bird.
  • Clickbait: Stories that strive to generate ad revenue through clicks by posting eye-catching images or sensational headlines. Sometimes these stories are fake news, but sometimes they can contain factual information. It is typical for clickbait headlines to only depict a certain part of a story. They can be featured on reputable news sites. See here for an example of a collection of clickbait stories on The Week
  • Distorted: Think of extreme bias when you think of distorted news stories. The information may not "fake", but the source or author can be so swayed by their bias that you can only take the "information" they give you with a grain of salt. Sensational headlines, captivating images, and dramatic word choice are often characteristics of these stories. Try to find more neutral sources of information. See this example of distorted news.
  • 100% Fake News: News stories that are made up from beginning to end like this article. Keep an eye out for odd URLs like abcnews.com.co. Fact-checking sites are a great way to de-bunk fake news. These sites are listed with other strategies in the "Ways to Determine What's Fake and What's Real" box on this page.

Fake News Sources

Ways to Determine What's Fake and What's Real

  • Use Google's Reverse Image Search when possible. 
    • Go to Google.com
    • Click Images from the upper right hand corner
    • Click the camera icon in the search bar
    • Paste the image's URL or upload an image
  • What do other sources have to say?
    • Go to Google.com or another search engine
    • Search keywords related to the news story 
    • Scan the list of results to see if you can get a consensus from other sources
  • Check the original source
    • Make sure you are looking at the actual source that first reported the information. If Newspaper A says they got their story from Newspaper B, go to Newspaper B to view the original source.

Bias of News Sources

Click the image to expand.

Chart showing different news sources and their biases.