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Stopping the Spread of Misinformation

New Literacy Week
Posted at 12:52 PM, Jan 24, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-24 12:52:34-05

“It really comes down to you and your ability to separate fact from fiction.”

This week our parent company Scripps is shedding light on the importance of news literacy. Morning anchor Jasmine Monroe got a chance to speak to several experts about knowing the facts when it comes to delivering the news that is fair and balanced.

"Misinformation is so constant currently that it’s often hard to tell where the truth is coming from," said Maurice Johnson, a journalism professor at Florida A&M university.

When it comes to containing misinformation, news literacy is top priority.

News literacy is the ability to determine the credibility of news and other information. To recognize the standards of fact-based journalism, and to know what to trust, share and act on.

FAMU Professor Johnson teaches his students the importance of analyzing all the facts. He said what he does is analyze the language being used because they understand the language is geared towards a certain constituency.

The Poynter institute is one of his fact-checking sources.

“Sourcing is very important so when you compare different news outlets you have to say you have a better understanding of how it’s being reported why it’s being reported and how it’s being reported,” said Johnson.   

But with social media platforms like twitter, Facebook, TikTok and Instagram spotting misinformation isn’t always as easy as it may seem.

“It is up to journalists to uphold the facts and to be transparent and to behave ethically and report ethically and report the news as it is,” said Alex Mahadevan from Mediawise.

Mahadevan is the director with the Poynter institute and teaches journalists and high school students to ask the 3 w’s: who’s behind the information, what’s the evidence and three, what are other sources saying.

In other words, triple check your information, especially before sharing, a rule ABC27 Anchor and Managing Editor Channing Frampton knows all too well.

“Knowing what your sources are and analyzing that not everyone is telling the truth and doing your homework getting to the bottom of where the information is coming from,” said Frampton.

Eugene Kiely with said news literacy is not only necessary but it’s crucial to society, adding there are consequences to misinformation it undermines democracy and institutions including those that protect our health.

While ethical journalists strive to create a better-informed world….