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Is This for Real?

“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.


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  1. 13 Comment(s)

  2.   By Rhythm on Feb 17, 2016 | Reply

    This is cool because students often have to search for information online for school projects. It wouldn’t be good to turn in a paper with untrue facts.

  3.   By Librarian on Feb 25, 2016 | Reply

    Not only would it be embarrassing; it could completely change the way you look at an issue.

  4.   By Kim on Feb 17, 2016 | Reply

    How can you tell if something is fake or not?

  5.   By Librarian on Feb 17, 2016 | Reply

    Kim, check the facts with other sources to see if the same information is there. Sometimes it’s difficult to tell what’s true.

  6.   By corbin mattingly on Feb 17, 2016 | Reply

    this is really handy, ill be sure not to use these

  7.   By Avram on Feb 17, 2016 | Reply

    I have always loved the onion. Of course they are fake though, it’s satirical.

  8.   By Librarian on Feb 25, 2016 | Reply

    The Onion can be fun to read.

  9.   By Henry Russell on Feb 17, 2016 | Reply

    Now I know which websites are credible and which are not, which will help me with my knowledge of current events.

  10.   By Ro'en on Feb 18, 2016 | Reply

    This is very useful and it will help me recognize the fake titles 🙂

  11.   By Davida on Feb 22, 2017 | Reply

    This was very helpful. I will use it for my next project.

  12.   By Tapanga on Feb 22, 2017 | Reply

    It is a great thing that the LIbrary publishes this sort of thing to inform the students about News Headlines.

  13.   By Mya Betts on Feb 22, 2017 | Reply

    This is very helpful, and it will help me with my knowledge of current events

  14.   By Parker on Feb 22, 2017 | Reply

    This will definately change the way I read articles written by untrustworthy sources.

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