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Fake News, Misinformation, & Propaganda: Fake News

Defining and identifying fake news.

Fake News

Fake news is defined by the Cambridge Dictionary as, "False stories that appear to be news, spread on the internet or using other media, usually created to influence political views or as a joke." The phrase is so new that the Merriam-Webster dictionary has yet to create a formal definition, though they have discussed the topic, see link below. Stopping the spread if misinformation is critical. The Pew Research Center found that, "23% say they have shared a made-up news story – either knowingly or not." 

Introduction to Crash Course Navigating Digital Information

We love the internet! It's a wealth of information where we can learn about just about anything, but it's also kind of a pit of information that can be false or misleading. So, we're partnering with Mediawise and the Stanford History Education Group to make this series on Navigating Digital Information. Let's learn the facts about facts!

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLlv2o6UfTU

Who Can You Trust?

 

In which John Green teaches you how to assess the sources of information you find on the internet. The growing suspicion of expertise is a growing problem on the internet, and it can be very difficult to figure out which sources are authoritative. In this episode John offers some strategies to help you identify credible sources and take into account a source's point of view.

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o93pM-b97HI

Perspectives

Broadcast Hysteria

The enthralling and never-told story of the War of the Worlds radio drama and its true aftermath On October 30, 1938, families across the country were gathered around their radios when their regular programming was interrupted by an announcer delivering news of a meteor strike in New Jersey. With increasing intensity, the announcer read bulletins describing terrifying war machines moving toward New York City. As the invading force approached, some listeners sat transfixed before their radios, while others ran to alert neighbors or call the police. Some even fled their homes in panic. But the broadcast was not breaking news--it was Orson Welles's adaptation of the H. G. Wells classic The War of the Worlds. In Broadcast Hysteria, A. Brad Schwartz examines the history behind the infamous radio play. Did it really spawn a wave of mass hysteria? Schwartz is the first to examine the hundreds of letters sent directly to Welles after the broadcast. He draws upon them, and hundreds more sent to the FCC, to recapture the roiling emotions of a bygone era, and his findings challenge conventional wisdom. Relatively few listeners believed an actual attack was under way. But even so, Schwartz shows that Welles's broadcast prompted a different kind of "mass panic" as Americans debated the bewitching power of the radio and the country's vulnerability in a time of crisis. Schwartz's original research, gifted storytelling, and thoughtful analysis make Broadcast Hysteria a groundbreaking work of media history.

Biased

"A fascinating new book... [Dr. Jennifer Eberhardt is] a genius."--Trevor Noah, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah "Poignant....important and illuminating."--The New York Times Book Review "Groundbreaking."--Bryan Stevenson, New York Times bestselling author of Just Mercy From one of the world's leading experts on unconscious racial bias come stories, science, and strategies to address one of the central controversies of our time How do we talk about bias? How do we address racial disparities and inequities? What role do our institutions play in creating, maintaining, and magnifying those inequities? What role do we play? With a perspective that is at once scientific, investigative, and informed by personal experience, Dr. Jennifer Eberhardt offers us the language and courage we need to face one of the biggest and most troubling issues of our time. She exposes racial bias at all levels of society--in our neighborhoods, schools, workplaces, and criminal justice system. Yet she also offers us tools to address it. Eberhardt shows us how we can be vulnerable to bias but not doomed to live under its grip. Racial bias is a problem that we all have a role to play in solving.

Skewed

"In a media landscape dominated by advocacy news networks pushing competing points of view, how can the average person uncover the truth about any particular issue? This book will show you how to separate the facts from the agenda-driven spin and selective presentation often used by such news sources as Fox and MSNBC. The author describes the goals of advocacy journalism-i.e., journalism that transparently advocates a biased worldview-and shows that it has been a part of our history since the 1700s. He assesses the role of talk radio, cable news networks, and the more recent phenomena of special-interest blogs, websites, and citizen journalists in creating the current media climate.a While conceding that advocacy journalism is undoubtedly popular and has some positive aspects, the author also points out its many negative features. Perhaps the most important of these is its polarizing effect on society. Skewedwill give readers the tools to critique the media, to see both sides of any issue, and to become better informed citizens and voters."

The Stewart/Colbert Effect

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report have attracted much interest in recent years from popular audiences as well as scholars in various disciplines. Both Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert have been named on Time magazine's list of the most influential people in the world. The ten essays in this interdisciplinary collection explore the issues engendered by the popularity of entertainment news, including the role of satire in politics, the declining level of trust in traditional sources of media, the shows' cathartic or informational function, and the ways in which these shows influence public opinion. Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.

Bunk

Longlisted for the National Book Award for Nonfiction "There Kevin Young goes again, giving us books we greatly need, cleverly disguised as books we merely want. Unexpectedly essential."--Marlon James Award-winning poet and critic Kevin Young tours us through a rogue's gallery of hoaxers, plagiarists, forgers, and fakers--from the humbug of P. T. Barnum and Edgar Allan Poe to the unrepentant bunk of JT LeRoy and Donald J. Trump.Bunk traces the history of the hoax as a peculiarly American phenomenon, examining what motivates hucksters and makes the rest of us so gullible. Disturbingly, Young finds that fakery is woven from stereotype and suspicion, race being the most insidious American hoax of all. He chronicles how Barnum came to fame by displaying figures like Joice Heth, a black woman whom he pretended was the 161-year-old nursemaid to George Washington, and What Is It?, an African American man Barnum professed was a newly discovered missing link in evolution. Bunk then turns to the hoaxing of history and the ways that forgers, plagiarists, and journalistic fakers invent backstories and falsehoods to sell us lies about themselves and about the world in our own time, from pretend Native Americans Grey Owl and Nasdijj to the deadly imposture of Clark Rockefeller, from the made-up memoirs of James Frey to the identity theft of Rachel Dolezal. In this brilliant and timely work, Young asks what it means to live in a post-factual world of "truthiness" where everything is up for interpretation and everyone is subject to a pervasive cynicism that damages our ideas of reality, fact, and art.

Entertaining Politics

In this completely revised and updated edition (including eight new chapters), Jeffrey Jones charts the evolution and maturation of political entertainment television by examining The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The Colbert Report, Politically Incorrect/Real Time with Bill Maher, and Michael Moore's TV Nation and The Awful Truth. This volume investigates how and why these shows have been central locations for the critique of political and economic power and an important resource for citizens during numerous political crises. In an age of Truthiness, fake news and humorous political talk have proven themselves viable forms of alternative reporting and critical means for ascertaining truth, and in the process, questioning the legitimacy of news media's role as the primary mediator of political life. The book also addresses the persistent claims that these programs have cynical effects and create misinformed young citizens, demonstrating instead how such programming provides for an informed, active, and meaningful citizenship. The new edition takes account of the many changes that have occurred in television and political culture since Entertaining Politics' initial release.

How Propaganda Works

How propaganda undermines democracy and why we need to pay attention Our democracy today is fraught with political campaigns, lobbyists, liberal media, and Fox News commentators, all using language to influence the way we think and reason about public issues. Even so, many of us believe that propaganda and manipulation aren't problems for us--not in the way they were for the totalitarian societies of the mid-twentieth century. In How Propaganda Works, Jason Stanley demonstrates that more attention needs to be paid. He examines how propaganda operates subtly, how it undermines democracy--particularly the ideals of democratic deliberation and equality--and how it has damaged democracies of the past. Focusing on the shortcomings of liberal democratic states, Stanley provides a historically grounded introduction to democratic political theory as a window into the misuse of democratic vocabulary for propaganda's selfish purposes. He lays out historical examples, such as the restructuring of the US public school system at the turn of the twentieth century, to explore how the language of democracy is sometimes used to mask an undemocratic reality. Drawing from a range of sources, including feminist theory, critical race theory, epistemology, formal semantics, educational theory, and social and cognitive psychology, he explains how the manipulative and hypocritical declaration of flawed beliefs and ideologies arises from and perpetuates inequalities in society, such as the racial injustices that commonly occur in the United States. How Propaganda Works shows that an understanding of propaganda and its mechanisms is essential for the preservation and protection of liberal democracies everywhere.

The Smear

New York Times Bestseller Ever wonder how politics turned into a take-no-prisoners blood sport? The New York Times bestselling author of Stonewalled pulls back the curtain on the shady world of opposition research and reveals the dirty tricks those in power use to influence your opinions. Behind most major political stories in the modern era, there is an agenda; an effort by opposition researchers, spin doctors, and outside interests to destroy an idea or a person. The tactic they use is the Smear. Every day, Americans are influenced by the Smear without knowing it. Paid forces cleverly shape virtually every image you cross. Maybe you read that Donald Trump is a racist misogynist, or saw someone on the news mocking the Bernie Sanders campaign. The trick of the Smear is that it is often based on some shred of truth, but these media-driven "hit pieces" are designed to obscure the truth. Success hinges on the Smear artist's ability to remain invisible; to make it seem as if their work is neither calculated nor scripted. It must appear to be precisely what it is not. Veteran journalist Sharyl Attkisson has witnessed this practice firsthand. After years of being pitched hit jobs and puff pieces, she's an expert at detecting Smear campaigns. Now, the hard-hitting investigative reporter shares her inside knowledge, revealing how the Smear takes shape and who its perpetrators are--including Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal and, most influential of all, "right-wing assassin turned left-wing assassin" (National Review) political operative David Brock and his Media Matters for America empire. Attkisson exposes the diabolical tactics of Smear artists, and their outrageous access to the biggest names in political media--operatives who are corrupting the political process, and discouraging widespread citizen involvement in our democracy.

An Introduction to Implicit Bias

Written by a diverse range of scholars, this accessible introductory volume asks: What is implicit bias? How does implicit bias compromise our knowledge of others and social reality? How does implicit bias affect us, as individuals and participants in larger social and political institutions, and what can we do to combat biases? An interdisciplinary enterprise, the volume brings together the philosophical perspective of the humanities with the perspective of the social sciences to develop rich lines of inquiry. Its twelve chapters are written in a non-technical style, using relatable examples that help readers understand what implicit bias is, its significance, and the controversies surrounding it. Each chapter includes discussion questions and additional annotated reading suggestions, and a companion webpage contains teaching resources. The volume is an invaluable resource for students--and researchers--seeking to understand criticisms surrounding implicit bias, as well as how one might answer them by adopting a more nuanced understanding of bias and its role in maintaining social injustice.

The Sun and the Moon

The Sun and the Moon tells the delightful, entertaining, and surprisingly true story of how in the summer of 1835 a series of articles in the Sun , the first of the city’s "penny papers,” convinced the citizens of New York that the moon was inhabited. Six articles, purporting to reveal the lunar discoveries made by a world-famous British astronomer, described the life found on the moon--including unicorns, beavers that walked upright, and, strangest of all, four-foot-tall flying man-bats. The series quickly became the most widely circulated newspaper story of the era. And the Sun , a brash working-class upstart less than two years old, had become the most widely read newspaper in the world. Told in richly novelistic detail, The Sun and the Moon brings the raucous world of 1830s New York City vividly to life--the noise, the excitement, the sense that almost anything was possible. The book overflows with larger-than-life characters, including Richard Adams Locke, author of the moon series (who never intended it to be a hoax at all); a fledgling showman named P.T. Barnum, who had just brought his own hoax to New York; and the young writer Edgar Allan Poe, who was convinced that the moon series was a plagiarism of his own work. An exhilarating narrative history of a city on the cusp of greatness and a nation newly united by affordable newspapers, The Sun and the Moon may just be the strangest true story you’ve ever read.

The Trouble with Reality

Every week on the public radio show On the Media, the award-winning journalist Brooke Gladstone analyzes the media and how it shapes our perceptions of the world. Now, from her front-row perch on the day's events, Gladstone brings her genius for making insightful, unexpected connections to help us understand what she calls--and what so many of us can acknowledge having--"trouble with reality." Reality, as she shows us, was never what we thought it was--there is always a bubble, people are always subjective and prey to stereotypes. And that makes reality actually more vulnerable than we ever thought. Enter Donald J. Trump and his team of advisors. For them, as she writes, lying is the point. The more blatant the lie, the easier it is to hijack reality and assert power over the truth. Drawing on writers as diverse as Hannah Arendt, Walter Lippmann, Philip K. Dick, and Jonathan Swift, she dissects this strategy, straight out of the authoritarian playbook, and shows how the Trump team mastered it, down to the five types of tweets that Trump uses to distort our notions of what's real and what's not. And she offers hope. There is meaningful action, a time-tested treatment for moral panic. And there is also the inevitable reckoning. History tells us we can count on it. Brief and bracing, The Trouble with Reality shows exactly why so many of us didn't see it coming, and how we can recover both our belief in reality--and our sanity.  

Ideological Placement of Each Source's Audience

Source: https://www.pewresearch.org/journalism/2014/10/21/political-polarization-media-habits/pj_14-10-21_mediapolarization-08/