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Evaluating News Stories: What is Fake News

Fake news is a complex and growing problem for anyone doing research. This guide accompanies Dr. Johnson's COM 10 class

"Fake News" - definition

Fake News 

"Fake news is made-up stuff, masterfully manipulated to look like credible journalistic reports that are easily spread online to large audiences willing to believe the fictions and spread the word."

Other Helpful Terms:

Biased news: A way of reporting on a factual news story that is designed to sway a reader toward a specific conclusion. This differs from fake news because the underlying facts are true but may be presented selectively or misleadingly to encourage the reader to think a particular way.

Clickbait: A term used to describe articles, either real or fake, that have attention-grabbing headlines and intentionally inflammatory content, designed to entice readers to click on the article and share the content.

Confirmation bias: A tendency of people to seek out and trust sources that affirm a belief they already hold and to distrust sources that contradict their existing beliefs.

Alternative facts is a phrase used by U.S. Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway during a Meet the Press interview on January 22, 2017, in which she defended White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer's false statement about the attendance at Donald Trump's inauguration as President of the United States.  

"Alternative facts are not facts, they are falsehoods" -- Chuck Todd, Meet the Press, Jan. 22, 2017


Sue Czerny

Sue Czerny's picture
Sue Czerny
RL 203-A