This page provides information from our library staff and other organizations about information literacy, spotting fake news, and recognizing logical fallacies.
DON’T BE DUPED!
Have you ever been duped by faulty logic used by a politician, public speaker, co-worker, or friend? Probably.
Unfortunately, fallacious arguments are commonplace and we’ve all likely been both taken in by or even used bad arguments ourselves without realizing it. That’s because fallacious arguments aren’t always easy to spot. Sometimes they seem quite convincing until we examine them further.
To help you spot bad arguments, we’ve made a series of videos to help you get to know some common forms bad arguments take. These common forms are called “logical fallacies.”
Each video in the series defines one common fallacy and gives practical examples of the fallacy at work.
FAKE NEWS DEFINED:
Fake news is disinformation, hoaxes, or propaganda passed off as real news, often on social media sites or other online sources.
It’s important to note that many (arguably, most) news sources have some kind of explicit or implicit perspective, but that this doesn’t mean that those sources automatically qualify as fake news. That’s why it is extremely important to be able to assess the quality of content – ultimately it is up to you to make sure that your information is good.
Another useful handout is from EBSCO, one of the companies which provides many of the library’s paid online resources (which are free for library cardholders):
FACT CHECKING SITES:
See news from multiple perspectives: left, right and center.
A product of the Annenberg Public Policy Center, this site is terrific for checking up on political claims.
Similar to Snopes but tighter in scope, Hoax-Slayer focuses on email hoaxes, identity theft scams and spam.
A professional networking website where you can look up the authors of articles and books to see if they’re credible.
Media Bias/Fact Check
One of the most “comprehensive media bias resources on the internet”
The Pulitzer Prize-winning Politifact researches the claims of politicians and checks their accuracy.
Internet reference source for urban legends, folklore, myths, rumors, and misinformation.
Washington Post Fact Checker
While focused primarily on political facts, it covers specific claims in-depth and with plenty of cross-referencing.
LIBRARY GUIDES TEACHING HOW TO SPOT FAKE NEWS:
ORGANIZATIONS WITH EDUCATIONAL MATERIAL TO BECOME MEDIA/NEWS SAVVY:
Center for Media Literacy (CML)
Includes tools and ideas for teachers for bringing media literacy to the classroom.
Digital Resource Center – Center for News Literacy
Includes lesson plans, templates, and standards.
Media Literacy Now
“Provides policy and advocacy information, expertise, and resources to develop state laws to implement media literacy education in schools.”
National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE)
Develop skills to be a critical thinker, effective communicator and active citizen.
News Literacy Curriculum for Educators
Activities for teachers, which parents can adapt too, from the American Press Institute.
The News Literacy Project (NLP)
An innovative national educational program that mobilizes seasoned journalists to work with educators to teach middle school and high school students how to sort fact from fiction in the digital age.
The Poynter Institute
Serves as the world’s leading resource for journalists to engage and inform the public in democratic societies.
Project Look Sharp
Lesson plans and materials to support critical thinking in the classroom
ARTICLES & WEBSITES:
Ad Detector (Chrome, Firefox)
Media Bias Fact Check Icon (Chrome, Firefox)
NewsGuard (Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Safari)
Ask a librarian
Call or drop by any of the Public Library of Youngstown & Mahoning County branches, a librarian is always available to help with researching your questions, and with heaps more accuracy than that robotic voice on your smartphone. How do you know you can trust library staff? We’re trained information professionals, many of us with advanced degrees in information literacy, and our jobs are to teach you and empower you with how to access and understand information. Librarians can help answer your questions via phone at 330-744-8636, email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and online contact form at Get Answers.
Search a library research site for news
If you’re looking for information on a specific topic, start at the library’s research databases instead of an internet search. Our databases have already done part of the work of evaluating information for you by selecting quality information sources