Skip to main content

News Literacy

What is News Literacy?

News Literacy is when a person has the critical thinking skills to judge the reliability and credibility of information. 

What we are up against: 

  • Often too much information comes at us all at once. In these instances, our brain relies on psychological tricks to quickly decide if something is true or false. But these tricks are not always accurate. 
  • Technology is making it easier and more profitable to spread false information than ever before. 
  • We now expect immediate news coverage, which limits outlets' abilities to fact check. 
  • Digital algorithms create filter bubbles, where we only interact with information that we agree with. 

With news literacy, you can combat these issues by:

  • Recognizing the difference between journalism and other types of information.
  • Analyzing how authors verify the claims they are making with evidence. 
  • Distinguishing between news media bias and our own biases.
  • Evaluating a claim across all news media platforms, based on the quality of evidence. 

Beyond "Fake News"

"Fake News" has turned into a loaded term that has more than one meaning.

Fake news originally was applied to the news that was indeed fiction, but the term is now often used to describe any news that someone disagrees with, regardless of the level of factual information presented in the story. It is important to realize that not all stories marked as fake news are false. Just as there are stories that appear to be true, that are in fact fake. 

For this reason, this guide moves away from the label "Fake News" and digs into how news can be false or misleading.