Beginning Journalism shares dangers of fake news, informs student body

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Catherine Gagulashvili copy editor

The Beginning Journalism class put on a presentation in the Salter Theater covering fake news, news bias and the threats they pose to an uninformed consumer on Sept. 7.

Journalism adviser Gaby Doyle teaches her Beginning Journalism class about fake news in the first unit they covered this year. This year, however, with the prevalence of fake news being shared on social media and other platforms, Doyle decided to give her students an opportunity to share the information they learned  with the rest of the student body.

“Everyone needs to be able to identify news bias and real news from fake news. They need to understand what news sources they can trust, and they also need to understand the bias of those news sources so they can have a balanced viewpoint of the world. I just think that this is a growing problem,” Doyle said. “Just listening to students’ discussions in the hallway, or in my other classes, I’m hearing how kids are being misled by bias in the media. I see people sharing things that are false on social media all the time. So all of that made me say, ‘Oh, my God, I have to address this.’”

Doyle gave her class of 11 students an open floor to decide how they wanted to teach their peers about the topic. The students chose to give a slideshow presentation and play an interactive game of Kahoot! after their presentation. Sophomore Marshall Schulman thought the presentation went well and the classes in attendance left with a greater understanding of fake news.

“I think that everyone absorbed the information a little bit better than I expected. I think everyone left with a little bit better understanding of fake news. Given how much the average person goes on social media, especially our age, people can be influenced [by fake news] without even knowing it,” Schulman said.

Senior Kevai Lewis, who, alongside Schulman, took on a leadership role when organizing the project, feels that given the current political climate, and our growing awareness of it as we get older, it is important to be aware of and be able to distinguish between real and fake news. She hopes that her peers can better understand the importance of fake news and can therefore become more informed members of the community.

“Some people, they don’t read the news or know what’s going on. We’re all in high school and we’re getting older. We have to start being involved in everything that’s going on in the world, or even just our community,” Lewis said. “We have to know how to get all the information that we need.”

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