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Course Detail: PER501 - Fake News & Alternative Facts: What You Don't Know Will Hurt You - NEW!
Do you know if your news is fake?!

Fake news and alternative facts are so much a part of our daily information consumption that it's often hard to tell what's real and what's not. Media sources once considered credible are under fire with accusations of presenting biased and misleading data, and social media is overrun with emotionally charged stories - some quick to lead us down a path of incivility. All in all, it's increasingly harder to make sense of the news in a growing culture of mistrust.

To that point, internationally renowned journalist, Ann Curry recently said, "Without good journalism, we don't have democracy." So, how do we know what's good?




This course will provide you with the tools you need to identify fake news and alternative facts, evaluate information sources to determine what's credible and (more importantly) what isn't, and deal with the deluge of information and our gut reaction to it. In short, this course will help you find healthy ways to consume information so that it does not consume you!

Week 1 & 2: We'll learn how to critically review all types of media sources, learning from the experts what goes into developing a good story for radio, television, print, and social media.

Week 3 & 4: We'll discuss how to deal with information overload and deflect emotionally charged reactions to what we see, read, and hear in the news.

By the end of the course, you will have the tools to identify and select the best news for your needs, manage your news feeds, and contribute to the democratic dialog responsibly.

Learning Outcomes:
• Identify the tell-tale signs of fake news and alternative facts in all forms of media
• Quickly evaluate information sources to help inform your thinking about complex issues
• Develop coping mechanisms for dealing with information overload, and
• Strategies for handling emotionally charged responses to information (especially on social media).


Instructor Alexis Macklin currently serves as Dean of the Walter E. Helmke Library and has been in this role since January of 2017. Prior to joining IPFW, she was the Associate Dean of Libraries at the University of Colorado, Boulder. She also previously served as Director of the Library and Archives at the Senator John Heinz History Center, a Smithsonian affiliate, in Pittsburgh. Ms. Macklin brings experience in information literacy, metadata services, scholarly communications, acquisitions, circulation, strategic communication and change management, and special collections and archives. Ms. Macklin earned a Ph.D. from Purdue University, an MLIS from the University of Pittsburgh, and a B.A. from Chatham College, Pittsburgh.

Available Sessions - Click on date(s) below.