Fake News or Real News: What's the Difference and How to Know
Political Economy 24 P 002 SEM W 6-7P, 225 Dwinelle
"Fake News" is not a fight over Truth but rather a fight over Power"
2016 was the "Year of the Hoax" disguised as truth. Fake news and the proliferation of opinion that passes for news is creating confusion, punching holes in what is true, and leading us to doubt everything branded as "news." An analysis by BuzzFeed found that false election stories from hoax sites and hyperpartisan blogs generated more engagement than content from real news sites during the last three months of the election. In this course we will examine the difference between "fake news", satire, opinion, slanted journalism, propaganda and factual news reporting. We will look at the rise of the fake news phenomenon, how and why it has gone viral and its actual and potential consequences
- Introduction and Introductions
- What is Fake news? Is objective News an illusion?
- Problems of unreliability in traditional media: inaccurate/insufficient information such as errors and ommissions, biased information (often in favor of the status quo), government pressure to suppress reports, corporate public relations campaigns
- How does fake news differ from problems of unreliability noted above? Hoaxes, Satire, opinion, and Comedy, “spin,” intentional disinformation mixing factual material with fraudulent information
- Jon Stewart on the thin line between traditional media and fake news https://qz.com/850475/jon-stewart-the-american-media-has-become-an-information-laundering-scheme/
- Class Debate on Climate Change and Climate Change Skepticism: A legitimate Debate or campaigns of Disinformation/Misinformation
Sarah Simpson, “The Arctic Thaw could make Global Warming Worse,” Scientific American, June 29, 2009
"Think Again: Climate Change" By Bill McKibben In Foreign Policy January-February 2009
“A Changing Climate: Consequences for Subsistence Communities”
”Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability: Polar Regions” pp. 663-676
"Do Climate Change Deniers Have a Point?" http://www.oregonlive.com/today/index.ssf/2016/04/do_climate-change_skeptics_hav.html
Week 4 Feb. 8
- Continue Climate Change Debate, analyze students' examples, discuss fake news and free speech
Weeks 5 and 6 Feb.15 and Feb 22
- How can we tell fake news when we see it? (two sessions)
Guest Speakers, Cody Hennesy, and Editors of the Daily Cal
Week 7 March 1
- The emergence and evolution of Fake News (1)
- Before fake news, what was “real” news?
- The crumbling infrastructure of traditional journalism and the emergence of digital media
Guest Speaker JP Mangalindan, Senior Correspondent, Yahoo Finance JP Mangalindan covers the intersection of technology and finance Previously, he worked as a reporter for Fortune Magazine and Mashable covering Silicon Valley. A graduate of Fordham University, Mangalindan's work has also appeared in GQ Magazine, Popular Science and Entertainment Weekly.
Week 8 March 8
Guest Speaker Jon Schwarz, San Francisco Bureau Chief, USA Today. Jon Schwarz has been a high-tech journalist since 1987. He has worked for MacWEEK, written for London dailies (Independent, Times and Daily Telegraph), the San Francisco Chronicle, Forbes and, of course, USA TODAY.
Week 9 March 15
- Who writes fake news and why?
recommended: A long article on Russia https://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/07/magazine/the-agency.html?_r=0P
- Why do people believe Fake news?
Week 11 April 5
- What are the actual and potential consequences?
Week 12 April 12
- Fake news and Free speech, laws and libel
Week 13 April 19
- What can be done on the "supply side"?
- On the “supply” side: journalism ethics and standards, public broadcasting sources
- Efforts by Google and facebook
- How do we combat confirmation bias
Week 14: Conclusion and Party April 26
May 3: Your own Fake News Story is Due
On the history and evolution of fake news
On teaching about how to evaluate information
Carl Sagen, "The fine art of Baloney Detection" http://www.inf.fu-berlin.de/lehre/pmo/eng/Sagan-Baloney.pdf
Eli Pariser, The Filter Bubble
Shaheed Mohammed, The Disinformation Age
Howard Rheingold, Net Smart: How to Thrive Online
David Helfand, Survival Guide to the Misinformation Age