More about fake news

Kirsten Smith My Blog Leave a Comment

Fake news is still a thing and recently I listened to some very interesting podcasts with new information that I must share – because it’s frightening!

First this librarian podcast Circulating Ideas interviewed a Canadian academic librarian, William Badke, about information literacy and fake news. Information literacy is so important and so undervalued. I still remember speaking to a class of graduate students in journalism just a few years ago where one woman asked me “what’s a library subject heading?”.

Subject headings, like in the days of the card catalogue? Remember? Source:

After I got over my disbelief, I turned that question into a teachable moment, demonstrating the power of controlled vocabulary in search. Information literacy has several facets, such as how to be a good online searcher (which includes using library catalogues and subject headings for better precision) and how to evaluate the material you are looking at. Some information is credible and reliable and some is just ….. not.

I suggest Googling “information literacy” AND libguides to get helpful and credible explainers.

Next up was this RadioLab podcast on the near future of creating completely fake audio and video using “photoshop for audio” and emerging video technologies. The most chilling part was when the creator scientist was asked about the ethical implication of the technology and she just stuttered. Just what the world needs now. Go look at this completely fake clip of former President Barack Obama talking about giving up and playing golf. This Guardian piece from last week explains it as well if you aren’t a podcast person.  No good will come of this. Not in today’s climate where news organizations struggle for credibility and half-truths and untruths spread like wildfire on social media.


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