UMass professor talks news literacy

Recorder Staff
Thursday, May 18, 2017

GREENFIELD — UMass Amherst professor Steve Fox tackled dealing with information overload, spotting fake news and other topics during a lecture Thursday night in Greenfield.

His talk, “Navigating the News: Who Can You Trust in Today’s Media Landscape?” was a free program hosted by the Franklin County League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan organization.

Fox, a UMass journalism faculty member, suggested readers verify what they see on social media, and recommends trusting reporting that has multiple sources, and verified documentation when possible.

He said a lot of issues in current journalism involve determining bias of reporting, but also sometimes looking at our own personal biases as well.

“We’re going to sources that confirm our preconceived notions of the world,” said Fox, who has 25 years of experience in print and online journalism and teaching.

Fox said in today’s media-heavy environment, news consumers have the burden not only of determining what is true and what isn’t, but also of following stories through the news cycle and not just looking at a small snapshot of developing stories.

About 15 people people attended the event, which was held at at Saints James and Andrew Episcopal Church.