Use Verification and Educational Tools

Use Verification and Educational Tools

Use Verification and Educational Tools
Use Verification and Educational Tools

A wide variety of reliable news agencies provide infor- mation and tips to both their reporters and their read- ers for avoiding fake news. There are several projects underway to increase levels of trust in the legitimate media. The Trust Project at Santa Clara University in California is working to “develop digital tools and strategies to signal trustworthiness and ethical stan- dards in reporting.”18 The Trust Project brings together news reporters and editors with the goal of restoring trust in the news media. This project has identified indicators for journalism including a series of checks that can be applied to news stories to indicate that the information has been vetted for honesty, reliabil- ity, ethical treatment, and so on. Articles are flagged with indicators that show fact verification has taken place, ethical standards have been observed, conflicts of interest have been exposed, and reporting versus opinion and sponsored content articles are flagged. Over seventy news organizations are collaborating on this project.

The Trust Project

The National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting is part of the 4,500-member association Investigative Reporters and Editors. NICAR provides the ability to combine information from varied digi- tal sources, allowing reporters to verify information and to extract facts and data more easily. New tools help reporters with analysis, visualization, and pre- sentation of structured data: Google Refine, ManyEyes (IBM), TimeFlow (Duke University), Jigsaw (Georgia Tech), the Sphinx Project (CMU), DocumentCloud, and ProPublica. All of these groups are working to help legitimate news sources provide readers with accurate and reliable content.19

National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting

Investigative Reporters and Editors Association


The Public Data Lab publishes A Field Guide to Fake News.20 This guide describes “digital methods to trace production, circulation and reception of fake news online.”21 This publication was prepared for release at the International Journalism Festival in Perugia in April 2017. Its goal is to investigate fake news in its context including where it appears and how it circu- lates online.

A number of educational institutions have created classroom curricula to help students learn to be smart consumers of information, especially news.22 The Stanford History Education Group has created a class- room curriculum that includes a bank of assessments to test the ability to judge credibility of news reports.

Stanford History Education Group

The News Literacy Project is a nonpartisan national educational program that aims at teaching middle and high school students how to read and eval- uate news stories. It has developed an online modu- lar curriculum called Checkology that walks students, middle school through college, through the process of reporting the news, from on-site reporting to publica- tion. Students can also learn how to create their own news stories, giving them practice in creating fair and unbiased reports, which, in turn, helps them to evalu- ate news stories from others.

News Literacy Project

Consistent and persistent use of a handful of sim- ple practices could help to identify fake news and to stop its spread. Putting those practices to use could remove or at least reduce the incentives that drive the creators of fake news. There are tools and techniques available to help people become informed and savvy news consumers. Legitimate news media sources are creating criteria and tagging to help people to iden- tify and select “real” news. There are easy means to

escape our information bubbles and echo chambers. In the end, it is up to all individuals to do what they can to educate themselves about fake news and the technology that brings fake news to their doorstep. While we educate ourselves, we can help to educate our students and patrons.

Place Your Order Here!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *