Teaching About Fake News: Lesson Plans for Different Disciplines and Audiences

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Fake news is a problematic phrase. Does it simply mean stories that are truly fake? Does it include a story whose facts are basically true but twisted by manipulative language and fallacious reasoning? Where do memes and fabricated images fall in this definition? Is it new, or just propaganda? And yet, “fake news” is the phrase that has captured people’s attention. While librarians have justified concerns that “fake news” does not fully (or even accurately) capture the nuances of our problematic information ecosystem, it’s a phrase that resonates with and is used by others.

Teaching about Fake News adds to this ongoing conversation by helping librarians think about the topic through the lens of different disciplines and audiences, and focus on an aspect of fake news that will be compelling to a particular audience or in a specific setting. The book contains 23 chapters with full lesson plans arranged into seven themes: algorithms/altmetrics, visual literacy, media literacy, memes, business, science communication, the financial/political impact of fake news, and partnerships. Each chapter has an accompanying PowerPoint freely available in the ACRL Sandbox (sandbox.acrl.org) and findable with the tag “#fakenews”.

Fake news is a huge subject with numerous angles and perspectives. By taking a more nuanced approach, focusing on distinct aspects of fake news and tailored for specific audiences, librarians can move students toward a more critical approach to news literacy.

Published: 2021Imprint: ACRLPages: 332
Sku: 9780838938904

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