Fake News (believe me, not us)
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Fake news and how to discern what news can be trusted is a hot button issue in the United States and around the world, especially in light of President Donald Trump’s own accusations directed towards the media. President Trump stated while he was running for office that he was “not running against crooked Hillary Clinton, but running against the crooked media.” His statements against the mainstream media have raised questions as to what news stories or outlets are credible. The Global Online Academy course on fake news is an interesting and accessible opportunity to explore the question of how to get reliable information through the media, an institution that is supposed to serve the public.
The course will be examining how certain news sources are biased in their political preference and how their bias can be harmful in the search for accurate information. Political bias in the news can create “expected answers” or information that is tailored to a certain point of view. Many feel that getting news that doesn’t have a political spin to it is nearly impossible. In order to find the something more neutral, one often has to check numerous sources. To this end however, it is often hard to find information that pieces together, meaning that different sources can provide entirely different answers or solutions to a common issue or event.
Although being in the classroom for this kind of an intensive course would be ideal, the teachers of the course are well versed in their curriculum and use every tool at their disposal to make the class more engaging. The lead teacher for the fake news course, Tina Bessias, is an English teacher at Durham Academy in North Carolina and is fully committed to all of her students, no matter where they live. Furthermore, another advantage of being in a GOA course is that there are students from different parts of the United States and different parts of the world. This is particularly valuable for a study on Fake News as we are able to engage with students that have different ideas and experiences shaped by the places that they live. Fake news is not limited by state or international borders, so why should the fake news course be?