"Pin the Source on the Spectrum": Fake News is on a Continuum
This hands-on activity was piloted as part of a teach-in on fake news at Purchase College, SUNY. To convey the idea that “fake news” exists on a continuum, we did a pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey activity using a blank version of Vanessa Otero’s Media Bias chart. The chart is a useful tool for showing the nuances between nonfactual, biased, and inflammatory news sources. Participants are asked to research a news media organization and decide where to place it on the chart, then compare their choices to Otero's original infographic. Two groups can also compare their choices to each other. The ensuing discussion fits nicely with the ACRL Threshold Concept: “Authority is constructed and contextual” and can relate to "Research as Inquiry" or "Information as Value" as well, if economic factors related to the press and clickbait websites are discussed. The concept of a source being on a spectrum of “complex vs. clickbait” adds an additional layer of complexity for students who are used to focusing on binaries such as: liberal vs. conservative or “trustworthy vs. fake.” The details of how to implement this activity as well as copies of Otero's chart are attached. (P.S. An updated version of the chart was created in Fall 2017 adding more nuance along the "complexity" axis and removing some of the "PG-13" or "sassy" language. See attached PDFs).