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Fact or Fiction? How to Tell   Tags: fact checking, fake news, journalism, news  

Selected resources for students and their teachers.
Last Updated: Jul 21, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Neutral Data Research

  • Pew Research Center
    "Pew Research Center’s experts provide analysis of trends shaping America and the world grounded in the center’s rigorous empirical research. Because the center is strictly neutral, its experts do not make policy recommendations. Choose an expert to see his or her bio and contact information, or if you can’t find what you need, please visit Media Resources."

News Lit Tip

@TED_ED Video Lessons

Wondering how to start the conversation about fake news? TED-Ed ( is a great place to begin the dialogue.
"Lessons worth sharing" at TED-Ed are created around a TED talk or a YouTube video. See all Lessons. Choose your level of involvement: share and discuss the video, share a lesson idea, or get involved with the organization itself.
1. "How to choose your news"
Damon Brown
YouTube description: "With the advent of the Internet and social media, news is distributed at an incredible rate by an unprecedented number of different media outlets. How do we choose which news to consume? Damon Brown gives the inside scoop on how the opinions and facts (and sometimes non-facts) make their way into the news and how the smart reader can tell them apart."
Think | Dig Deeper 
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2.  "How False News Can Spread" 
Noah Tavlin
YouTube description: "In previous decades, most news with global reach came from several major newspapers and networks with the resources to gather information directly. The speed with which information spreads now, however, has created the ideal conditions for something called circular reporting. Noah Tavlin sheds light on this phenomenon."
Think | Dig Deeper | Discuss
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3.  "Beware online 'filter bubbles' " 
Eli Pariser
YouTube description: " As web companies strive to tailor their services (including news and search results) to our personal tastes, there's a dangerous unintended consequence: We get trapped in a "filter bubble" and don't get exposed to information that could challenge or broaden our worldview. Eli Pariser argues powerfully that this will ultimately prove to be bad for us and bad for democracy. Read our community Q&A with Eli (featuring 10 ways to turn off the filter bubble)"
Think | Dig Deeper | Discuss
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4. "Not all scientific studies are created equal" 
David H. Schwartz
YouTube description: "Every day, we are bombarded by attention grabbing headlines that promise miracle cures to all of our ailments -- often backed up by a "scientific study." But what are these studies, and how do we know if they are reliable? David H. Schwartz dissects two types of studies that scientists use, illuminating why you should always approach the claims with a critical eye."

Think | Dig Deeper | Discuss
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5. "Capturing authentic narratives" 
Michele Weldon
YouTube description: "Journalism can be much more than reporting. An authentic, human narrative touches audiences and keeps them reading. Learn how to shape a human-centered news story, and the importance of facts, context and heart."
Think | Dig Deeper

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6. "The key to media's hidden codes"
Ben Beaton
YouTube description: "Colors, camera angles and logos in the media can all prompt immediate associations with emotions, activities and memories. Learn to decode the intricate system of symbols that are a part of everyday life -- from media messages to traffic signs." 

Think | Dig Deeper
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7. "How algorithms shape our world"
Kevin Slavin
YouTube description: "Kevin Slavin argues that we're living in a world designed for -- and increasingly controlled by -- algorithms. In this riveting talk from TEDGlobal, he shows how these complex computer programs determine espionage tactics, stock prices, movie scripts, and architecture. Slavin also warns that we are writing code we can't understand with implications we can't control."
Think | Dig Deeper
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8. "How statistics can be misleading"
Mark Liddell
YouTube description: "Statistics are persuasive. So much so that people, organizations, and whole countries base some of their most important decisions on organized data. But any set of statistics might have something lurking inside it that can turn the results completely upside down. Mark Liddell investigates Simpson’s paradox."
Conclusion: "All we can do is carefully study the actual situations the statistics describe and consider whether lurking variables may be present."
Think | Dig Deeper | Discuss
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TED talk: "Battling bad science"
Ben Goldacre
YouTube description: "Every day there are news reports of new health advice, but how can you know if they're right? Doctor and epidemiologist Ben Goldacre shows us, at high speed, the ways evidence can be distorted, from the blindingly obvious nutrition claims to the very subtle tricks of the pharmaceutical industry." 

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A YouTube Playlist of the above videos is HERE.

    Non-Partisan Fact Checking Sites


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