Educating Children to Recognize Fake News

Children and teens need to be taught the proper way to absorb news at an earlier age than ever before. What people need to know to be able to tell real from fake is provided in the following passage.

It’s a positive development, given that the case for enhancing young people’s news literacy couldn’t be greater. According to a 2016 survey, pupils are unable to reason about information they find on the internet, even though they are tech-savvy. It was discovered that students had difficulty separating news pieces from advertisements and determining the source of their information.

It’s important to note that it’s difficult to tell the difference between true and fake news. There is a risk that it will cause voters to make rash choices at the polls, undermine public trust and even jeopardize their own health by disseminating erroneous information about health care. For example, in 2016, Facebook users shared an article that claimed dandelion weed might treat cancer.

Every 11-year-old in the United States should be vaccinated against misleading and deceptive information through a program of news literacy education. When good habits are ingrained in young people, they can last for the rest of their lives.

When it comes to dealing with your child’s behavior, you may be baffled about where to begin. Some experts’ advice on how to teach children of all ages how to identify between authentic and fake news is provided below.

Definition of “fake news.”

Kids may be familiar with the term “fake news,” but they may not understand what it means or believe it is a joke because it is part of the zeitgeist. Fake news is news that is completely fabricated. That you don’t agree with something isn’t new.

Afterward, educate them on trustworthy news sources. If you’re looking for an independent media outlet, look no further than Schneider’s definition of them. Demonstrate what you mean. However, “people should not put their reliance in the news that is anonymous or is produced by someone that simply uses their first name or a pseudonym.”

Sort facts from opinions with your children.

For many people, the boundary between objective reporting and information that has been filtered by prejudice is becoming blurred, whether you’re watching TV, reading an essay online or browsing through your favorite magazine on a tablet. As a result, experts advocate discussing with your children the distinction between fact and opinion and the need of hearing both sides of a story, even if they are younger than ten years old. A foundation for critical thinking about the news will be laid by these dialogues as kids grow older. Comparison of movie reviews with a movie advertisement may also be fruitful. This is a good method to demonstrate the difference between paid-for content and authentic news sources.

For this reason, it’s possible that you want to pass on to your children “clear values-based convictions or strong political views” that you have as a family. Media channels that promote our preexisting views are more likely to be sought out by us as humans than those that challenge them. Parents can communicate their ideas and traditions in a way that is respectful of various opinions when interacting with the news media.

Remember, it’s never too early to start something new. Media literacy can begin as soon as children are old enough to appreciate story time before bedtime. Prior to a child’s emotional readiness to read news, we may help them develop critical thinking skills through age-appropriate media content. 

Developing critical thinkers begins with reading with young children. Talk about the stories you’ve heard with the little ones. When they finish reading, ask them what they thought about it and how they felt about the characters.

Investigate further

Encourage your students to ask themselves, “Where am I receiving this news from?” when they’re scrolling through social media, viewing a video on YouTube, or reading an article in the school newspaper. “What is the source of this information? How do you know this?”

You may use it as a detective in a movie. As soon as students see a news piece that they like on a social media site, they should investigate the subject further and practice finding the original source. Even if a report has been repurposed by a secondary source, it doesn’t always mean that it is untrue; however, it is always preferable to identify the original source of a report in this situation.

If a post on Instagram gets thousands of likes or a tweet goes viral, it doesn’t necessarily imply it’s accurate. Remind them not to mistake popularity for trustworthiness, or the position of a story in a search engine’s algorithm for its accuracy and veracity. In fact, there are numerous examples to support the contrary view. These people can be deceived easily. Make sure that your children know that they can help rather than hinder. Do not share any news or information with friends unless you can verify its veracity with additional sources.

Inspire doubt rather than cynicism.

When teaching your child how to read and understand the news, it’s crucial to expose him or her to a wide range of opinions. However, pointing out errors in news coverage is fine, but demonizing the media in this way breeds mistrust and cynicism among the public. 

Identify instances in which the media has uncovered significant difficulties. Reaffirm its position as a democratic watchdog. The media could be discussed as the fourth pillar of government in this context.

Helpful related articles: Teaching Children to Use Social Media WiselyIs the Increase in Suicide Rates Among Young Girls Due to Social Media7 Things You Don’t Want Your Children to Post on Social Media