Media Literacy Week: Discerning fact from fiction

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The advent of ‘fake news’, ’alternative facts’ and events such as the Cambridge Analytica scandal have shown us that it’s more challenging than ever to discern a trusted news source from misinformation.

‘Fake news’ can spread across the globe in an instant, crossing multiple platforms and into the hands of millions . This is why it is as important as ever to not only read the news, but to be literate about the quality of media that we absorb.

The issue is widespread. Claire Wardle was the keynote speaker at this week’s Navigating the News conference at the University of Tasmania, where she said:

“The term fake doesn’t begin to describe the complexity of the different types of misinformation (the inadvertent sharing of false information) and disinformation (the deliberate creation and sharing of information known to be false).”

Media literacy is about examining your news habits and making more informed and knowledgeable decisions about what you consume.

The ABC’s Media Literacy Week which runs from 10-16th September is the perfect opportunity to critically analyse the news we digest and learn how to become better news consumers.

This can involve scrutinising where you get receive news media from, what sources are being used, and whether you can readily cross-check any major claims made with other news sources. Finding out more about the journalists who report the stories you consume to see if there is any bias or influence can be very useful.

Verifying and checking the news we read and watch each day can help in the battle against inaccurate and misleading news. This in turn can assist all of us to be more educated and knowledgeable in distinguishing genuine news from peddlers of fake news.

TO READ MORE, head to the ABC Media Literacy Week webpage.

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