Writers Are Not Duped By Fake News & Biased Reports

(Or How To Avoid Falling For Fake Information)

People look up to writers, especially those who write non-fiction. They are regarded as credible sources of information. They have their readers’ trust. Whatever they write about is automatically viewed as factual.

Creative writers are also looked up to by their readers.

And, while creative writers have creative licences in the genre they write, they should and must not be fooled by fake news or information. This is important for you, as an aspiring writer, because you might write about something that has been based on faulty data.

To avoid falling for fake information:

*Practise critical thinking

  • analyse or evaluate the authenticity of any information that you deem shocking, sensitive or suspiciously fake

  • this also applies to images, which can be manipulated or photo-edited by those who wanted to hurt another’s reputation
Centre photo is the original; the ones on the left and right are very basic manipulations.
The photos to be wary of are those that muddy the message in the images, like changing
or inserting the face/head on, for example, a naked body.

*Make it a habit to check other sources

  • develop your skills in doing research
  • check the veracity of data which can be done online via your choice of search engine
  • where possible, contact the person or the entity that can validate the information

*Establish the credibility of sources you rely on for accurate data

  • for students reading this suggestion, remember your teachers’ advice to NOT use a particularly popular website when you write your essay or thesis; this is because anyone is able to edit the information contained in the site by inserting false data
  • for news sources and channels, be aware which of these report only one side of a story
  • biased news or information could undermine your ability to see situations objectively.
Photo credit: Vivien Allen

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