Broadcaster how-to guide – Fake news: How to identify it and what to do about it

| May 10, 2020

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Many people like to share stories, pictures, videos, and news stories on social media with friends. You might share something because you find it funny, or because you think it’s an important news story that more people in your social circle should know about.

Sometimes people share stories that they know are untrue. This kind of disinformation can be spread in many ways, both online and offline, via new media and older media. Television, print, radio, online news sites—all channels of communication can spread disinformation.

As a broadcaster, before you share a story or picture or video, do you stop to analyze the details? Do you question the content and wonder whether it’s totally accurate? Not everything we see or read is true. This is especially true and especially important in a world that is facing the COVID-19 pandemic.

False stories can circulate very quickly and are a big problem. This has become an unfortunate reality of daily life both online and offline all over the world, as people, companies, and media create stories that are untrue for political or personal gain, or a variety of other reasons. This phenomenon is called “fake news,” and as a broadcaster, it’s extremely important that you know how to detect it, while not contributing to it yourself.

This BH2 includes a variety of useful tips on how to spot fake news, and suggestions on what to do about it.