Fighting fake news: information literacy in the 21st century

Fighting fake news: information literacy in the 21st century

In the age of online news, it can be increasingly difficult to separate facts from opinions or misinformation, and “fake news” can be very convincing.

In December of 2016, director of libraries David Singleton sat down with the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Foundation to explain how libraries can help the community with information literacy during a time when the way we receive information is ever changing.

Now in 2018, “fake news” is still a topic of conversation and a concern for many people, and your Library is still here to help.

In a 2017 study, Pew found that 61 percent of American adults say their decision-making would be improved at least somewhat “if they got training on how to find trustworthy information online.” The report also showed that Americans – and especially young adults – are increasingly valuing their local lending institutions as “fake news” continues to be front and center in society’s discussion of the media and news.

Charlotte Mecklenburg Library continues to provide free access to trusted sources, and trained staff who are always happy to help. Your Library also has programs dedicated to help people learn how to better retrieve, analyze and use data effectively.

One program, at South County Regional Library, aims to do just that.

On Wednesday, January 24 from 5:30-7:30 p.m., a panel featuring local professors and members of the media will discuss the rise of fake news, how to recognize it and how to promote truthful, authoritative information.

Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions and gain a better understanding of what journalists do and how they gather information.

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Valerie Black is a journalism instructor at Johnson C. Smith University, where she has spent 8 years teaching broadcast writing, reporting, media ethics and communication research. Before teaching, Valerie was a television news producer at several stations in Virginia, NC and SC.

Dr. Amanda R. Martinez is an assistant professor of Communication Studies and Sociology at Davidson College. Her teachings and research focus on media effects, stereotypes, identity and inter-group communication. In addition to writing articles for numerous publications, Dr. Martinez is currently working on a book project and has given several presentations on the topic of fake news, including an online open course that drew 2,600 people from across the world.

Dennis Milligan has been in broadcast journalism for 44 years. The first part of his career was spent on air, reporting and anchoring, in both radio and television. Dennis is a native of San Diego, CA, and currently serves as the News Director for WBTV in Charlotte.

Rick Thames retired in April as executive editor of The Charlotte Observer and its website He worked in newspapers for nearly 40 years and is now the Knight-Crane Executive in Residence and Visiting Professor of Journalism at the James L. Knight School of Communication at Queens University of Charlotte.