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Becoming Savvy About Fake News

The wave of fake news that flooded Facebook and other social media during last year's election campaign was a wake-up call for many.  But fake news  has actually been around for a long time. Seventy-five years ago, regional newspapers in the South falsely reported that first lady Eleanor Roosevelt  was quietly organizing  black women into secret "Eleanor Clubs," with the motto: "A white woman in the kitchen by 1943."    In the digital era, that kind of rumor can spread far and worldwide, in no time. 

White House press corps veteran Randall Mikkelsen  analyzes how to recognize today's fake news and considers the future of journalism.


  • Randall Mikkelsen, Managing Editor at Thomson Reuters and a former member of the White House press corps.  

If you're interested in seeing Randall Mikkelsen's presentation, he'll be at the Bethlehem Public Library on Sat., April 1 at noon . He's also scheduled to be at the Wiggin Memorial Library in Stratham at 1pm on Sat., April 8, and at the Seabrook Public Library on Aug. 24 at 6:30pm.  If you can't make it,https://vimeo.com/209493603?ref=em-v-share" target="_blank"> click this link to watch a video of Mikkelsen's presentation at the Sandown Public Library recently, or try this link.

Mikkelsen finds this graphic helpful in evaluating news sources:

Credit HerryLawford / flickr/creative commons
flickr/creative commons

We get lots of calls and emails, but not many poems!  Here's one from Exchange listener Martha:

Fake news

Gives me the blues.

You can believe

whatever you choose.

Alternative fact...

What the heck is that?

It's very "uncouth"

Not to tell the truth.

Misleading words...

How absurd!

If I sing along,

I'll get it all wrong.

We'd be very wise

To examine all the lies

And not let our zeal

Believe what's not real.

Fake news

Gives me the blues.

If we repeat it

We all lose.

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