Fake News, Lies, and Propaganda: How to Sort Fact from Fiction
What is “fake news” anyway? Are we living in a post-truth world? These University of Michigan course materials will provide opportunities to discuss and analyze news production, consumption and evaluation. Students will develop the critical thinking skills necessary to be an informed citizen; understand how their worldview affects their interpretation of the news; and create a personal strategy for fact-checking and evaluating the news. Topics include types of “fake news” such as misinformation and disinformation; economic and technological contexts of the news media; psychological and social factors of media consumption; and the impact of news on our society.
After participating in this course, students will be able to:
1. Critically evaluate news sources in order to determine content credibility.
2. Develop and implement a strategy to make an informed opinion about current topics and issues in order to become a better informed citizen
3. Identify types of “fake news” including misinformation, disinformation, biased information, propaganda, and satire in order to determine the credibility of news content
4. Describe the news production process and information landscape in order to recognize the impact of the economic and technological context
5. Analyze the impact of psychological and social factors on media consumption in order to reflect on their own personal media consumption behaviors and practices
6. Discuss the individual and societal impacts of news literacy in order to understand its importance to public policy and democracy.