Media Literacy and Fake News

Media Literacy and Fake News

Fake news” typically equates to untrustworthy news sources or specific articles/news content. Determining whether or not a source is trustworthy, depends on if the said source is credible (Tandoc Jr, Lim, & Ling, 2018). Credibility can be broken down into bias (if any), authority, and accuracy (among other factors, of course). It is important that the public understands and can recognize components that make a news outlet fake or trustworthy. Sometimes, fake news is also manufactured by the distributors of news. Source of the news could explicitly mention themselves as a satirical news site or humour tweet handle and publish distorted news. Still, due to widespread social media, the same message will be forwarded to millions as real news. You can identify fake news by checking the news source if it has been published by a trustworthy media organization (Read, 2016). Fake news does not have authors or publication dates. Furthermore, they do not have domains and URLs. They also do not attract a lot of traffic like the real ones the number of comments and viewers can identify them.

Fake news is particularly toxic because it can misinform the public, prevent the public from taking the initiative in solving serious social problems, and the public may fall for the agenda of political actors with sinister motives. A democratic country requires trustworthy and reliable information to be available for voters to make their decisions (Read, 2016). When mainstream news outlets like the broadcast networks, CNN, The Washington and New York Times Post fabricate stories or manipulate language to deceive their viewers and readers, the result can be a badly misinformed public unable to make voting decisions intelligently. As a result, it is a threat to the foundation of the republic.

The most susceptible people are those that are not familiar with the inner workings of the media, and that trust what they read like truth. These people are the most susceptible. The society is also more susceptible to fake news (Tandoc Jr, Lim, & Ling, 2018). It’s often a case of a willful lack of rationality. Some people want their delusions to be true so very badly, and will buy in to even the most ludicrous ‘fake news’ so long as it’s something they agree with or helps validate their worldview.















Read, M. (2016). Fake news [Video]. Retrieved from

Tandoc Jr, E. C., Lim, Z. W. & Ling, R. (2018). Defining “fake news” A typology of scholarly definitions. Digital journalism6(2), 137-153.


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