How can we recognize misinformation and media bias? – WCCO
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – It’s National News Literacy Week, an event to help people better understand what information is credible and what is not.
An Associated Press survey found that nearly half of Americans say it’s hard to know if the information they take in is true.
How can we recognize misinformation and bias? Good question. WCCO spoke with John Silva of the News Literacy Project.
“Part of it is trying to approach things with a healthy skepticism,” Silva said.
Take a viral photo of a shark on a Texas freeway after Hurricane Harvey in 2017. A simple internet search can quickly confirm that the photo is fake.
And a quick search was all it took to find a Reuters fact check on a post about the COVID-19 vaccine. They found that the article lacked context.
When looking at a media bias chart, Silva says that organizations in the middle of it tend to be more standards-based.
“Who, what, where, when,” he said.
But the chart does not easily distinguish meaning from editorial and ignores how bias can sometimes creep into news reporting.
Silva says another valuable tool is a reverse image search on Google, but it does not always work.
One of his most important pieces of advice: If you can not confirm it, do not share it.