National News Literacy Week is an effort to help people discern reliable information from misinformation in modern media. This year’s theme is “Trust”. FOX 17 reporter Jamie Sherrod visited a local high school here in Western Michigan to talk to a class of would-be journalists about the pitfalls of misinformation.
Preston Donakowski leads the Falcon News Network class at East Kentwood High School.
“We have the brightest students, the best flyers, people who want to be journalists… experience as early reporters,” he says.
Under his guidance, students will learn how to produce a bi-weekly news program for their school. These high flyers can choose stories to share with their classmates, but they also learn about the importance of correct information.
His students take pride in their work.
“I think it really maintains the integrity of journalists and journalism as a whole,” says senior Mckenna Van Oven. Journalism continues to run our society.”
For McKenna and other students, social media is a popular platform for sharing information. But it’s also important to be aware of misinformation. According to Preston, misinformation can “spread like wildfire” on social media.
McKenna says he accesses his news primarily online, but he’s made a habit of double-checking information.
“When it comes to politics and other big things, I usually like Google, do a Google search, check different sources and see what they say about it,” she said. increase.
Preston encourages students to read, research, and respond.
“It has to be explored more,” he says. “You have to dig into the headline and find out what the full context of this quote is. What is the full context of how they said it?”
He says it’s easy to read stories and react emotionally. He hopes that students will learn to question the facts and look at the story from another angle first.
Fortunately, students in Preston’s class have a unique technique for distinguishing between fact and fiction.
Junior Kerim Suleman recalls when he first heard about the riots in the capital on January 6th. It was not from a broadcast news source.
“The first thing I saw on social media was people had cell phones and they were recording it,” Kerim says. “And then hours later, you start seeing news outlets like CNN, FOX, MSNBC, and that’s when you say, ‘OK, this was an attack, this was what happened. Find out the truth and see what is true and what is false. ”
Another 11th grader, Diego Saldivar, is particularly intrigued by the story of the Idaho murders. He wants viewers to focus more on the evidence than speculation.
“Have you read the police affidavit or the report itself?” Diego asks. “Some people like to just type in what they think is their conspiracy theory, but you definitely need to check the facts for yourself.”
Diego believes it’s important to vette information so you don’t spread lies or anything that tarnishes someone’s image. “It just doesn’t tell the truth.”
McKenna says he gets his news primarily through social media, but he’s made a habit of double-checking information.
“When it comes to politics and other big things, I usually like Google, do a Google search, and check different sources to see what they have to say about it,” she said. , the Pew Research Center added: It’s her one of her trusted sites.
By teaching the Falcon News Network, Preston hopes students will learn how to use the internet and social media effectively.
“Collect as much information as you can,” he advises. “Having your own opinion is one thing, and being a well-informed opinion is another.”
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