Frustrated with Fake News? You're Not Alone

Jan 17, 2017

There’s been a lot of talk about “fake news” and what “the media” do and who “the media” are. During this hour of River to River, we talk about fake news, real news and what makes a fact.

Melissa Zimdars, an assistant professor of communications at Merrimack College, says it’s hard to tell sometimes what is real and what is not.

“Sometimes fake news sources look real, and they are good at fooling people into circulating stories as if they were real,” she says.

"Fake news stories are just that – stories. There isn’t a lot of time spent on building up the website that the story comes from. There’s usually no “about us” or “authors” section that you would find on a credible website.”

Zimdars has created a resource guide for people looking to fact check sources. You can find it here.

Vote Smart National Director, Walker McKusick, and Scott Raecker, Director of the Robert D. and Billie Ray Center at Drake University and a former republican state lawmaker, also join the conversation.

Raecker says that the responsibility to think critically about news lies just as much with consumers as it does with media outlets.

“Just recently with Buzzfeed, we saw in the sub headline that the facts were unverified,” he says. “Journalism doesn’t do that.”