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The Library: Media Literacy

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Student Media Use Survey

How to Check Your Sources

When you're trying to determine if a source is reliable or not, start out by giving it the CRAP test:

  • is it Current? (this is especially important in areas that change quickly, like science and technology!)
  • is it Reliable? (can you tell whether it is fact vs. opinion, does it credit its sources, is it accurate and written coherently?)
  • is it Authoritative? (is the author identified? What makes the author an expert?)
  • what is its Point of view? (is somebody paying money to promote this information? Is it trying to convince you to do or believe something? What is the author's perspective and bias?)

Strategies for spotting fake news from factcheck.org (check out the link for more info!):

  1. Consider the source (is it a known, credible website?)
  2. Read beyond the headline (be sure you fully understand what the author is communicating)
  3. Check the author
  4. What's the support?
  5. Check the date
  6. Is it a joke?
  7. Check your biases (we all have them! Our feelings and ideas about a particular topic can make us misjudge a source)
  8. Do your homework and check with the experts (can you find this information from more than one source? What do you know about the source?)

The Verification Handbook shows how journalists check their information for accuracy

Watch and Listen

Fact-Checking Websites

Fake News Examples

Really Cute, but Totally Fake: How a fake video of a pig rescuing a baby goat went viral

Girl Catches Fire Twerking: How Jimmy Kimmel fooled other media organizations

Tracking Down a Fake News Creator: Locating a fake news writer and learning about his motivations

How Fake News Goes Viral: Tracing the origins and spreading of a fake news story

President Obama Bans the Pledge of Allegiance

Teacher Resources

Digital Resource Center: News literacy lessons and standards

Source Reliability Checklist: Graphic organizer to help students assess a source

NPR: Students Have 'Dismaying' Inability To Tell Fake News From Real, Study Finds

Stanford Study Findings: Report on student media literacy including sample student work

Skydiving Without a Parachute: Lesson which has students assess a fake video

Skills and Strategies: Fake News vs. Real News from the New York Times

Teaching History Students to Recognize Bias

Students Need Our Help Detecting Fake News

Classroom Media Literacy Resources from the International Literacy Association and the NCTE