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News Literacy Week: How to spot misinformation

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Posted at 10:28 PM, Jan 25, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-26 11:25:34-05

INDIANAPOLIS — The information we share and believe on social media can impact our everyday lives — from our health to our finances.

WRTV went to Monument Circle, where people told us they get their information from websites like Google, Twitter and Instagram.

"Our issue in 2023 isn't so much finding information, it's evaluating it and assessing it to make sure that we have correct accurate information," Dr. Adam Kuban, a journalism professor at Ball State University, said.

According to the News Literacy Project, 59% of Americans say it's hard to identify false information or intentionally misleading and inaccurate stories portrayed as the truth on social media.

"If you're only picking one site or one specific, you know, example, on social media that's been shared, you may not be getting the full reflection of the actual story, even if the information in it isn't as accurate and may be missing information," Joe Bursley told WRTV on the Circle.

Kuban says misinformation and fake news are both concerning in today's digital world.

When you search for news, Kuban recommends verifying websites and looking for reporter bylines.

"Most credible news organizations have reporters and writers who will put their name attached to that story. Another [thing to look for] would be if the headline itself is written in all caps. A lot of times, fake news will be a little bit more obvious to detect if you see a headline that's written in all capitalized letters," Kuban said.

The National News Literacy Project created a resource called RumorGuard— a website where viral rumors are fact checked.