Teaching how to separate fact and fiction online

What do journalists do when they find news online?

The managing editor of Storyful.com, Markham Nolan has watched journalism evolve from the pursuit of finding facts to the act of verifying those floating in the ether.

Newspapers yellow

Today the roles have shifted and now journalists are reacting to news from the audience. Journalists are actually relying on people in the streets and monitoring what they are talking about and experiencing. People are helping the journalists figure out what is the best angle today, what they want to hear about. It is a real time thing, and it is happening on a constant basis. Twitter is now the most used source for journalists. 60 seconds after a earthquake hit Haiti, it was on Twitter! Watch this lecture and see how they work to find out if the sources online are true or not!

Lesson plan

  1. Watch the TED video and write an article where you give examples of news you might find online and what you can do to find out if it is true or not.
  2. Do you have any examples of untrue stories that have spread online?
  3. Use Twitter to find out if anything exciting is happening today. Explain what you found and what you did to see if it might be reliable news.
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