Can We Stop Using the Word Fake to Describe Made Up News?

describing-real-newsFake is a generic term. We don’t use it much when we teach — in any subject — because it’s judgmental and doesn’t tell us much about whatever it’s supposed to be characterizing. Besides, anyone can say that something — anything — is fake or made up.

So let’s not use fake to describe the news.

I recently read The Fight Against Fake News Starts in the Classroom, an article that describes media literacy lessons developed by Project Look Smart (at Ithaca College) and the principles of evaluating, deconstructing, and applying unambiguous descriptions to the news. The literacy lessons aim to help students gain more understanding of the practice of media evaluation and inquiry rather than simply designating something as true or false. When I finished reading the article and look over the wonderful teaching units, I realized that every lesson can be completed without focusing much, or at all on the word fake.        

I’ll admit that I’ve included the word in a whole range of my blog posts these past two months, beginning with Triple Check Fake News on Social Media — an appropriate title that first time when I addressed the wide-ranging cultural discussion that occurred after the 2016 election. However, now my plan is to go back to those posts and replace the word fake with more precise terms that identify news items with words that suggest how we’ve gone about determining an item’s accuracy. My ideas?

  • Confirmed news
  • Authoritative news
  • Substantiated news
  • Verified or validated news
  • Corroborated news
  • Proven news
  • Authenticated news
  • Reliable news
  • Credible news
  • Unambiguous news

Teaching our children and all citizens to check for credibility, evaluate, and celebrate substantiated news has become more urgent In today’s hyper-connected world.

 

2 thoughts on “Can We Stop Using the Word Fake to Describe Made Up News?

  1. Pingback: What is fake news and does it really exist? – TMH – The Media Hub

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