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Censored news is fake news

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Censored news is fake news.

Frank LoMonte, executive director of the Student Press Law Center, wrote that in Fake News, Real Solutions recently. He said the first wave of responses to fake news does not cure the underlying problem.

We agree wholeheartedly.

LoMonte blamed part of the problem on an educational system that tells students across the country to “publish only news that flatters government officials and reflects favorably on government policies.”

Censored news is fake news.

Such censored news at least partly stems from the 1988 U.S. Supreme Court’s Hazelwood decision.

LoMonte suggested the way to fight the fake news epidemic is to ensure educational institutions inoculate their students and don’t spread the virus.

That inoculation comes from more freedom, not less; more journalistic responsibility, not less; and from solid practice of ethical journalism.

As journalism groups strive to fight fake news in many ways, let’s begin in our schools by identifying at least four types of fake news:
• Information meant to deceive
• Information generated through sloppy and incomplete reporting
• Information not clearly identified as sponsored news
• Information spread by censored media

Follow JEA’s Scholastic Press Rights Committee and others over the next several months as we examine the issue of fake news, identify the problems it creates and seek solutions so scholastic journalism can lead in the fight against fake news and its impact.

Noteable resources:
• Evaluating information: The cornerstone of civic online reasoning
• Students have ‘dismaying’ inability to tell fake news from real, study shows
• A guide to spotting fake news
The dangers of crying wolf with ‘post-truth’
How to spot fake news
• A savvy news consumer’s guide: How not to get duped
Many Americans believe fake news is sowing confusion

 

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