“Gasoline Tax to Jump $3.00 January 1st!” No! Really? Maybe. Maybe not? The headline said it, so isn’t it true?
Some headlines scream doom and gloom, others announce incredibly good news. But are they true? The most difficult headlines to discern relate to current events and personalities and contain just enough “truth” to look real even if they aren’t. Readers who have believed such headlines in the past were labeled “gullible” and “naïve,” but now it is simply becoming more and more difficult to tell the difference between what is fact and fiction.
One way to protect yourself from jumping on the bandwagon of lampoon and scam sites is to become familiar with their names. When you see headlines from these sources, you will know to dismiss them as someone’s idea of fun and games. Here is a handy list of the most prolific “fake news” sites.
The most important thing for all students is to begin reading and/or watching a variety of news sources, so you are literate in current events from various points of view. Online, I would recommend both Fox news (conservative) and CNN (liberal). You will have a mix of views from these two sites to help you understand your country and world. If you listen to radio, try both NPR (liberal) and 650AM KENI (conservative).
A well-informed person is much less likely to fall for a fake headline, sparing him or her the embarrassment of believing and repeating a hoax or rumor which later is proven to be false.