TYLER STEINSDORFER | firstname.lastname@example.org
On Monday, April 26 at 2:00 p.m., Assistant Professor Jackie Arcy, a member of UW-Parkside communication department that specializes in media, led a group of students in a fake news workshop as a part of UW-Parkside’s Comm Week in order to teach about the dangers of fake news and how to differentiate it from real news. Professor Arcy defines fake news as being news that is “created to deliberately misinform” the reader and often comes from “hyper partisan blogs.”
Prevalence of fake news
Professor Arcy went on to state that there is “something more emotional about fake news.” These fake news stories tend to align more with people’s extreme views, and as a result validates their opinions. It is much more profitable to create these stories as there are no costs for expenses such as photography and research. In addition, there is no legal accountability for stories that are fake so the creators of these materials face little consequences for creating them. As two-thirds of adults get their news from social media outlets, many adults are exposed to a large amount of fake news articles whether they know it or not.
Professor Arcy gave several tips for determining if an article is fake news or not. She described that it is important to check the article’s source, author, data, sources, writing style, other sources and one’s own biases. To test the students’ analytical skills, Professor Arcy presented an activity for everyone to participate in to see if they could determine if a particular article is fake news or not. She handed seven different articles for groups of students to look at and try to figure out whether the articles were satire, legitimate news, fake news or news with extreme bias. As modern society is saturated with fake news, one can only hope that people will take a news articles with a grain of salt and check if it is actually factual.