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Fake News: Quality Journalism

LibGuide on identifying fake news

Terms Associated with "Fake News"

  • "Alternative facts" - According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, “a fact is a piece of information presented as having objective reality," and alternative means “offering or expressing a choice.” Putting these two words together is problematic because of the implication that there can be multiple “objective realities” from which people can choose instead of just one, true reality.
  • Bias - "A preference or an inclination, especially one that inhibits impartial judgment."
  • Born digital - "Of a document, created and stored in a digital format and not existing in hard copy."
  • Clickbait - "(On the Internet) content whose main purpose is to attract attention and encourage visitors to click on a link to a particular web page."
  • Confirmation bias - "The tendency to seek and interpret information that confirms existing beliefs."
  • Conspiracy theories - "...Sets of often erroneous beliefs that people use to explain malevolent and/ or unlawful acts that are perceived to be directed by and in favor of a small and powerful group that works in secret against a larger group of unwitting victims."
  • Echo chamber - "Mainstreaming ideological effect in which a group worldview is reinforced through continual circulation amongst like-minded people."
  • Filter bubble - "Phenomenon whereby the ideological perspectives of internet users are reinforced as a result of the selective algorithmic tailoring of search engine results to individual users."
  • Mainstream - "belonging to the ideas, attitudes, or activities that are shared by most people and regarded as normal or conventional."
  • Media - "the main means of mass communication (broadcasting, publishing, and the Internet) regarded collectively." 
  • Parody - "Consists of mocking a style of literary production through an exaggerated imitation."
  • Post-truth - "Relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief."
  • Satire - The use of humor, irony, and exaggeration to ridicule a subject, often a politician.

News Quality Evaluation

This news quality chart, created by patent lawyer Vanessa Otero, shows that all major media outlets have some level of bias.  Depending on where they fall, they may present a more liberal or conservative take on a news story.  For more information about her reasoning, check out her website at Media Bias Chart 4.0: What's New.

Journalism Guidelines

UCNJ LibGuides at Union College