Media Literacy: Fake News, Part II

On the weekend of Thanksgiving 2016, a Tweet caught my attention with the word “Truthiness.” Originating from one of of my two favorite episodes of the Colbert Report (linked below), the “wØrd” prompted me to do a double-take.


It was posted by Dr. Joyce Kasman Valenza, Assistant Professor in the Masters of Information Program at the Rutgers University School of Communication and Information. Before Rutgers, Joyce worked in special, public, and school libraries from which she taught not only her students and faculty, but all of us in K-12 library world some of our very best literacy lessons. Joyce is the author of the NeverendingSearch Blog for School Library Journal, which was the subject of that Tweet.

Even though I had a house full of relatives, I sat down and I read “Truth, Truthiness, Triangulation: A News Literacy Toolkit for a “Post-Truth” World.” And I read. And I read. Then I read it again. This was no blog post. For school librarians, this was a bible. When planning this year’s’s syllabus, I was determined to spend some time focusing on information literacy. Joyce’s post, along with the release of the Stanford History Education Group’s (SHEG) publication of Evaluating Information: The Cornerstone of Online Civic Reasoning were the driving forces behind that decision.

I started last month by interviewing Greg Toppo, USA Today’s National Education and Demographic Writer. We “tackled the big thorny issues” (as Joyce would put it) in journalism today. It was a really great discussion and I encourage you all to check it out. It was covered by eSchool News on March 10. Every week new webinars surface on how to keep kids from consuming “fake news” as if it were real news. Very few of them include conversations between journalists and educators. The webinar might have left a few participants with a nagging “Yes, but how?” Well that’s what this week is about. On Wednesday, March 22 at 5PM, eastern time, I will have a chance to unpack Joyce’s information literacy masterpiece with her. I am so excited to have this opportunity, and I hope you will join us.