FAKE NEWS VS. REAL NEWS: South Whitley Library speaker will help sort it all out Sept. 27

John Kaufeld
Staff Writer

Remember the story that zoomed around Facebook this summer about a bull shark spotted in Lake Tippecanoe?

The story was later identified as fake news, but not before it was widely shared, either as truth or for fun, across social media.

On Wednesday, Sept. 27 at 6:30 p.m., John Kaufeld, social media manager at IPFW, will be at South Whitley Community Public Library to share ways to discern legitimate news from fake news and satire, how to avoid clickbait and generally become savvy consumers of the news.

Today’s fake news has its roots in yellow journalism, a term coined in the late 1800s to characterize the sensationalized reporting engaged in by a pair of New York newspapers who were locked in a circulation battle.

The newspapers used, among other tactics, scary or misleading headlines, false interviews, pseudoscience, information from so-called experts, and a deep commiseration for the downtrodden against the system.

The yellow journalism of that era has morphed into the fake news of today.

When website addresses or names are similar, it becomes difficult to tell the legitimate news sites from the fake.
Adding to the confusion is the prevalence and speed of social media that can spread a story around faster than a speeding bullet, the ease of sharing stories, and the ability of virtually anyone to create a website or blog.

Kaufeld’s program will provide tips on what to look for when perusing all the information available from various sources.
The program is free and open to the public.

South Whitley Community Public Library is located at 201 E. Front St. in South Whitley.