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RedTalk to address ‘Era of Fake News’


Michael Saar, associate professor of library services, will present a REDtalk at 4 p.m., Nov. 15, titled, “Critical Thinking in the Era of Fake News,” on the sixth floor of Gray Library.

“Students should come to the REDtalk so they can understand the news environment and be able to develop media literacy,” Kelly Williams, REDtalks coordinator, said. “That way, students can develop critical thinking skills that can translate into their academics.”

Williams said students will benefit by learning how to digest the news.

“They’ll be able to identify what misinformation is, which will help them become more critical with the news that they are consuming,” she said.

Saar said that Gray Library deals with information literacy.

“We try and teach skills that will benefit you not just in college but beyond that, and for me, personally, one of the most important things (for) users of information is the ability to critically evaluate the information that we’re engaging with,” he said. “That information is all around us and will continue to be all around us even after we leave college — stuff that we see posted on our friends’ Facebook feeds or stories we find on Google websites.

“So it’s important to have skills to be critical about the information we are encountering, so that we can make informed decisions, either personal or professional or just living in our society.”

Saar said there is a lot of information out there and he noticed that people often have difficulty determining the accuracy or objectivity of the information.

“They see stuff that’s posted, or that they encounter online, and there’s stuff that is accurate and not accurate, and I’ve seen too many people get tricked by inaccurate information,” he said. “I think it’s important to try and get as many people tothink about critically evaluating what they see.”

The talk is framed around fake news but it really deals with any information one encounters online, Saar said.

“I think it’s a fun discussion,” he said. “There’s some humor built in, and while it deals with a topic that has some type of political connotations to it, such as ‘fake news,’ there really is an apolitical investigation of how we evaluate information we come across”

Attendees will receive free sno-cones.

Story by Lizz Nash, UP contributor

Category: News