How To Discern Fake News From Legitimate Reporting

Jun 15, 2018

Ron Sachs is a media consultant, former journalist, and former communications director for the late Gov. Lawton Chiles.
Credit sachsmedia.com

News is available at our fingertips. What constitutes news, and when should it be designated as “fake?”

The Capital Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association is hosting a luncheon on Thursday, June 21, to discuss how news consumers can discern what’s truthful and what’s less-than-factual.

Sachs Media Group Founder and CEO Ron Sachs will present tips on how to help stop the spread of misinformation – like keeping our own biases and emotions in check.

Here's what Sachs says we should be wary of when clicking links to news items.

  • Different kinds of fake news: “You could flip the channel between Fox News and CNN and hear two widely different views of the same world,” Sachs says. “You see reporters not interviewing but prosecuting questions…Then there are these new era media platforms that sound legitimate because they have the word ‘news’ in them or ‘fact’ or anything like that. They’re not practicing journalism. They’re practicing pushing points of view on all of us.”
  • Just the facts: “At the heart of good journalism, just give me the facts – who, what, when, where, why, and how.”
  • The source of the story being spread: “We’re in a selfie journalism area where we can record our own events and build an audience…The danger is when we put too much credibility into questionable sources.”

More information is available at the News Literacy Project.

Listen to the interview with Ron Sachs and WFSU’s Gina Jordan.