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Media Literacy in a Fake News World

A research guide compiling online and print resources and organizations that promote news and media accuracy and consumer awareness of accurate and false news.

AllSides

 

About AllSides

AllSides exposes bias and provides multiple angles on the same story so you can quickly get the full picture, not just one slant.
 
AllSides reflects the news as it is covered from a breadth of perspectives. That includes different perspectives on the same story as well as different opinions on what the day’s top stories are. We also seek to provide context, revealing debate on the underlying issues and other helpful background.
We refrain from choosing the news ourselves; rather we seek to reflect the news as others are covering it. And your participation helps us achieve that.
We do however add some editorial bias of our own. We believe everyone is biased, including us, and that it is important to be transparent about your bias. 
 
We give voice to perspectives often ignored. We don’t just show left, center and right, but also perspectives representing everything from Socialist to Libertarian, Blue-dog Democrat to Mainstream Republican, and Liberal to Social Conservative. (See the 8 distinct groups that Pew Research has identified.) So stories that might be missing entirely from leading news sites but are top headlines for a specific group will often appear on AllSides.
 
We give extra attention to news with contrasting coverage. We have seen mainstream coverage – of elections, terrorist acts, economics, occupy Wall Street, and conflict in the Middle East to name just a few – that differed so widely that it is hard to imagine they were reporting on the same event. We give these stories extra emphasis to be sure you have a full picture to understand what is really happening.
 
We highlight stories on polarization and media bias. AllSides aims to reduce dysfunctional polarization so we can work together and solve problems. Revealing bias and exposing people to different points of view helps achieve that aim. Raising awareness and understanding of polarization and bias supports this worthy cause.
 
We highlight free speech and civil discourse. We can not bridge divides and solve problems without listening to each other and sharing our thoughts. This requires a free flow of information and free speech so ideas (good and bad) are heard, and civil discourse so we can relate and empathize with each other.
 
We focus, at least for now, on political news. There are many other topics, like health, finance, parenting, ethics, and products to name just a few, which would benefit from exposing different perspectives and bias. We see the most urgent need and biggest opportunity for change in the political world so have started there.
 
AllSides empowers people to be informed, understand and decide for themselves. Without exposure to different points of view, we can be manipulated into believing and acting in certain ways. When well informed, we are better equipped to solve our problems and build “a more perfect union”.
Overall, AllSides News, Issues and Perspectives support the broader AllSides mission to "free people from filter bubbles so they can better understand the world and each other." Our editorial philosophy helps us put this mission into daily practice.

From https://www.allsides.com/; accessed November 29, 2017.

AP Fact Check

                                                    

 

Fact-checking and accountability journalism from AP journalists around the globe. Tips? Contact FactCheck@ap.org

From  https://apnews.com/APFactCheck; accessed September 3, 2020.

 

Breaking News Consumer's Handbook

Breaking News Consumer's Handbook

 

Breaking News Consumer's Handbook: Fake News Edition (podcast)

Summary

Drawing a distinction between fake and real news is going to be hard for those Facebook and Google employees tasked with banning offending sites. But it shouldn’t be so hard for you, the consumer.

Melissa Zimdars, assistant professor of communication and media at Merrimack College, has made a list of more than a hundred problematic news sites, along with tips for sorting the truthful from the troublesome. She talks with Brooke Gladstone about how to be a savvy news consumer in a misinformation-filled world.

From Breaking News Consumer's Handbook: https://www.wnyc.org/story/breaking-news-consumer-handbook-fake-news-edition; accessed January 17, 2018.

 

About the Series

Consider it a life raft, a decoder ring, a treasure map to truth. With the one and only The Breaking News Consumers Handbook you can glide through the murky waters of the media like a Navy seal.  

About WNYC

Listener-supported WNYC is the home for independent journalism and courageous conversation on air and online. Broadcasting live from New York City on 93.9 FM and AM 820 and available online and on the go.

 

From https://www.wnyc.org/series/breaking-news-consumers-handbook; accessed January 17, 2018.

FactCheck.org

 

About FactCheck.org

We are a nonpartisan, nonprofit “consumer advocate” for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics. We monitor the factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players in the form of TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews and news releases. Our goal is to apply the best practices of both journalism and scholarship, and to increase public knowledge and understanding.
FactCheck.org is a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. The APPC was established by publisher and philanthropist Walter Annenberg to create a community of scholars within the University of Pennsylvania that would address public policy issues at the local, state and federal levels.
 

http://www.factcheck.org/; accessed November 5, 2017.

 

Media Bias/Fact Check

                                                                      

Media Bias/Fact Check (MBFC), founded in 2015, is an independent online media outlet. MBFC is dedicated to educating the public on media bias and deceptive news practices.

MBFC’s aim is to inspire action and a rejection of overtly biased media. We want to return to an era of straight forward news reporting.

MBFC follows a strict methodology for determining the biases of sources. Dave Van Zandt is the primary editor for sources. He is assisted by a collective of volunteers who assist in research for many sources listed on these pages.

MBFC also provides occasional fact checks, original articles on media bias, and breaking/important news stories, especially as it relates to USA politics.

From https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/; accessed September 3, 2020.

 

Newseum

 

About Newseum
 
The Newseum, headquartered in Washington, D.C., promotes, explains and defends free expression and the five freedoms of the First Amendment: religion, speech, press, assembly and petition.
 
The Newseum and the Newseum Institute regularly host compelling programs that seek to generate solutions to some of the most pressing national and international challenges of the day. By embracing its role as a neutral forum committed to fostering open, nuanced discussions, the Newseum and the Newseum Institute engage in the central debates of our time, including the future of investigative journalism, the tensions between national security and privacy, and the role of religious freedom.

Featuring dramatic vistas of Washington, D.C., the Newseum has become one of the city’s most sought-after venues for conferences, weddings, movie premieres and special events. Two state-of-the-art television studios host programs of all kinds, which are broadcast around the world each week.

Exercising, defending and promoting freedom is crucial to protecting our way of life. The Newseum’s board, staff, volunteers, donors and corporate partners are working together to make sure the freedoms of the First Amendment remain strong and protected, both today and for future generations.

From http://www.newseum.org/; accessed November 15, 2017.

Politifact

 

About Politifact

PolitiFact is a fact-checking website that rates the accuracy of claims by elected officials and others who speak up in American politics. PolitiFact is run by editors and reporters from the Tampa Bay Times, an independent newspaper in Florida, as is PunditFact, a site devoted to fact-checking pundits. The Tampa Bay Times is owned by the not-for-profit Poynter Institute. The PolitiFact state sites are run by news organizations that have partnered with the Times. The state sites and PunditFact follow the same principles as the national site.

http://www.politifact.com/; accessed November 5, 2017.

ProjectImplicit.org

About ProjectImplicit.org
 

Project Implicit is a non-profit organization and international collaboration between researchers who are interested in implicit social cognition - thoughts and feelings outside of conscious awareness and control. The goal of the organization is to educate the public about hidden biases and to provide a “virtual laboratory” for collecting data on the Internet.

Project Implicit was founded in 1998 by three scientists – Tony Greenwald (University of Washington), Mahzarin Banaji (Harvard University), and Brian Nosek (University of Virginia). Project Implicit Mental Health launched in 2011, led by Bethany Teachman (University of Virginia) and Matt Nock (Harvard University). Project Implicit also provides consulting services, lectures, and workshops on implicit bias, diversity and inclusion, leadership, applying science to practice, and innovation. If you are interested in finding out more about these services, visit https://www.projectimplicit.net/organization.html.

 

From http://projectimplicit.org/index.html; accessed November 17, 2017.

 

Snopes

 

About Snopes.com

The Snopes.com web site was founded by David Mikkelson, a project begun in 1994 as an expression of his interest in researching urban legends that has since grown into the oldest and largest fact-checking site on the Internet, one widely regarded by journalists, folklorists, and laypersons alike as one of the world’s essential resources. Snopes.com is routinely included in annual “Best of the Web” lists and has been the recipient of two Webby awards. Snopes.com personnel have made multiple appearances as guests on national news programs such as 20/20, ABC World News, CNN Sunday Morning, and NPR’s All Things Considered, and they and their work have been profiled in numerous major news publications, including The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and Reader’s Digest.

The Snopes.com web site is (and always has been) a completely independent, self-sufficient entity wholly owned by its operators and funded through advertising revenues. Neither the site nor its operators has ever received monies from (or been engaged in any business or editorial relationship with), any sponsor, political party, religious group, outside business organization, or government agency that is not disclosed here.

https://www.snopes.com/; accessed November 5, 2017.

Podcasts Relevant to Media Literacy

Fake News: An Origin Story

"Fake news" is a phrase that may seem specific to our particular moment and time in American history.

But Columbia University Professor Andie Tucher says fake news is deeply rooted in American journalism.

The first newspaper published in North America got shut down in 1690 after printing fabricated information. Nineteenth-century newspapers often didn't agree on basic facts. In covering a lurid murder in 1836, one major newspaper implicated the man who'd been accused of the crime, while a competing newspaper described the accused as the victim of an intricate conspiracy.

https://www.npr.org/2018/06/25/623231337/fake-news-an-origin-story; accessed February 19, 2020.

How to Spot Misinformation

In this special collaboration with NPR's Life Kit the NPR Politics team breaks down what misinformation is and how you can spot it. This episode: Congressional correspondent Susan Davis, political reporter Miles Parks, and national security editor Philip Ewing.

https://www.npr.org/2019/11/27/783293679/how-to-spot-misinformation; accessed February 19, 2020.