The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Workshop defines fake news, media literacy

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The Collegian Logo

By Brian Fenley/reporter

A panel of NE faculty presented a seminar on the dangers of “fake news” and discussed how to determine what’s real and what’s fake in today’s media in Pizza with a Purpose: Purposeful Fact-Finding Sept. 18 on NE Campus.

“It’s not news with which we don’t agree or that makes someone or something look ‘bad.’ It is false information spread in order to, generally, make money on someone’s fears and/or lack of understanding,” government assistant professor Leigh-Anne Regenold said. 

Public services librarian Bonnie Hodges, sociology professor Murray Fortner, speech instructor A’Isha Malone, English professor Debra Sikes and Regenold talked about how information sources are ever-changing, thanks to the internet and social media. 

Just about everyone has access to vast outlets like YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. The democratization of media created the citizen-reporter who is untrained in traditional news values, Regenold said. 

“Our panel was trying to separate the various definitions of fake news that swirl around today,” she said. 

The panelists described how the information people get today has so many outlets that it is difficult to know which ones are good or bad sources.  

Whenever people have questions, they typically go to Google for answers, Malone said. However, that may not always be the best source as it’s not 100 percent accurate. 

“Ask Dr. Google why teachers should carry guns?” Malone said.

Nearly 250 students poured into Center Corner for a piece of free pizza and to learn more about “fake news.” During a Q&A session, a student brought up the difference between news reporting and commentary, with another student saying that commentary is strictly opinion.

The main takeaway for the students was to fact-check their information sources and, in the end, question everything.

“It had a lot of good resources to use and a lot of good ways to look at things in light of recent events as far as media,” said NE student Sterling Sotomayor. 

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