Journalism 133: Prof. Craig: Fake News Exercise
Fake News Exercise
We've discussed how "fake news" has become a serious problem in society, and how readers may be lured in to believe seemingly preposterous stories. The article from FactCheck.org we discussed in class showed how this could happen, listed some of the characteristics of many fake news stories and explained how to spot such material.
With this in mind, today's assignment calls upon you to get creative. Within your assigned group, you are to create two brief news stories (150-250 words each) based upon real material you find online. Label them "Story 1" and "Story 2." Each of these should be separate stories relating to the general topic assigned to your group, and each should be unusual enough to raise questions over whether it is real. The key is that one of them should be completely factual, and the other should be fake. The fake story can be completely fabricated (IT'S ONLY OKAY TO DO THIS ON THIS ONE ASSIGNMENT), or it can be based upon a true story that is altered in ways to make it fundamentally inaccurate. This should not be simply altering names or dates -- it should make the piece absolutely not true.
The objective is to create two stories that make it as difficult as possible to discern which one is real and which one is fake. You will email me your group's pair of stories by midnight tomorrow (Wednesday 10/9) and we will go over them in class Thursday morning.
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