Mitigating Risk. Enhancing critical thinking. Restoring trust.


Fake or Fact? Real Tools to Determine Real News is a modular program for the workplace that raises awareness about information manipulation, challenges us to think critically about news and other information, and provides tools that can be used to distinguish fake from fact.


of U.S. adults polled by Pew Research in December 2016 said fake news has caused a great deal or some confusion about the basic facts of current events



of participants say Fake or Fact? increased their awareness about the potential ramifications of fake news and other misinformation on civil society and business.


of seminar participants say Fake or Fact? was helpful in providing tools for assessing news and information.


The Age of Disruption has spawned the Age of Disinformation, and we are struggling to distinguish fake from fact. Opportunists are manipulating social media platforms to spread disinformation, creating confusion over basic facts and encouraging social and political polarization. This is undermining rational discourse and decision-making, with serious ramifications for civil society, democracy and business. Some hope social media, government or technology will come to the rescue. But in each case, someone must decide what constitutes false information. With this comes the risk that legitimate voices will be shut out, a slippery slope that could result in censorship and the abrogation of our First Amendment rights.

Each of us can play a role in combatting disinformation by sharpening our critical thinking skills and becoming smarter news and information consumers. The education system is launching news and information literacy programs. What can we do for people already in the workplace?

Edelman TrustBarometer

In its 2017 report: The Future of Risk: New Game, New Rules, Deloitte urges companies to “foster more risk-intelligent cultures by providing tools, resources and training opportunities to help employees see the reputation implications of their actions.”

Reputation Damage

Information – and misinformation — can now be communicated worldwide in a matter of seconds, increasing the risks and ramifications of reputation damage. A number of companies are calling this out as a risk factor and looking for ways to counteract it. Helping employees become smarter information consumers is a proactive approach to mitigation.

Fact-based decision-making

Businesses rely on their employees to make good decisions based on factual information. Determining the facts requires critical thinking skills. If employees are unable to distinguish real news from misinformation, can they determine the facts necessary to fulfill their job responsibilities?

Fact-Based Decision Making

“More than half of adults say that training in the digital realm would help them when it comes to accessing information that can aid in making decisions. Around six-in-ten (61%) say they would like training on how to use online resources to find trustworthy information….”

Uncertainty in the business environment

Disinformation is fueling social and political polarization, destroying trust in mainstream institutions, and contributing to partisan policy making, resulting in volatility and uncertainty within the business environment.

Edelman TrustBarometer

“There is a desperate search for the terra firma of stability and truth. The fourth wave of the trust tsunami, the rise of disinformation, is perhaps the most insidious because it undermines the very essence of rational discourse and decision-making. Silence is now deeply dangerous – a tax on truth…..Every institution must play its part….”

– Richard Edelman, President and CEO of Edelman, in “The Battle for Truth” Edelman Trust Barometer 2018.

Uncertainty in the business environment

Disinformation is fueling social and political polarization, destroying trust in mainstream institutions, and contributing to partisan policy making, resulting in volatility and uncertainty within the business environment.

Threats to civil society, democracy and business

Our democratic republic, and by extension, business, is at risk when a majority of voters are unable to recognize fact-based information.

“At a time of domestic political upheaval, sharp policy divisions and intensifying international conflicts, the spread of disinformation and the related—yet distinct – problem of distrust of the media pose a fundamental threat to the quality of our public discourse and to our political system, sound policy outcomes and national cohesion.”

– Executive Summary, “Faking News: Fraudulent News and the Fight for Truth,” PEN America, Oct. 12, 2017

Faking News


From Executives:

“The number of sources for information and news today can overwhelm. Knowing how to identify and verify news and information as factual or fake are skills we all need. Fake or Fact is the right question at the right time with the right tools to make us more discerning news and information consumers.”S. Theis Rice
Senior Vice President and Chief Legal Officer (retired)
Trinity Industries, Inc., Dallas, TX
“Jeannette Keton shines a bright light on discerning fact from fiction in her workshop, Fake or Fact? Real Tools to Determine Real News. The interactive experience blends a historical, journalistic perspective with the cutting edge technology of news. During the seminar, you will learn ways to assess the media, as well as your trust in the news. Fake or Fact has an important aim to increase our critical thinking skills as we continue to be bombarded with information, data and opinion.”Kathryn Collins
Chief Human Resources Officer
Arcosa Inc., Dallas, TX
“A free press is so crucial to the functioning of our democracy that it is enshrined in the Constitution. ‘Fake news’ is a serious attack on and a threat to our democracy because it is aimed directly at reducing American citizens’ ability to make informed decisions when voting or evaluating government policies. Fake or Fact? Real Tools to Determine Real News demonstrates multiple ways to help us recognize and separate toxic propaganda from trustworthy information.” Ralph Langer
Retired Editor & Executive Vice President
The Dallas Morning News, Dallas, TX

From Participants:

“Thought provoking and relevant topic. I appreciate the useful tools.”
“The majority of the work we do in quality includes problem solving: identifying the problem, theorizing possible causes and then determining root cause based on factual data. Critical thinking skills are required to verify and validate the information and data that has surfaced through the problem solving process. I will be incorporating some of the concepts from Fake or Fact? into my quality discussions going forward.”
“The information was important and the way it was presented was great.”
“It was factual and informative, but also a good time. The quiz tools were fun and entertaining to use, and the presentation graphics were very well designed.”
“I appreciate that my company provided the opportunity to attend a seminar like Fake or Fact? It went beyond the usual workplace training, and provided information and tools that will be helpful both at work and outside.”


Businesses are custodians of democracy, along with government and private citizens. Businesses can positively impact civil society and begin the long process of restoring trust by helping employees grasp the importance of facts to democracy and the critical role each of us must play to successfully curb the spread of false information.
Fake or Fact Tools Fake News Stories

“Think critically” and “No research, no sharing” are important messages throughout the modular Fake or Fact program. Organizations choose program modules based on their respective needs. An initial hour-long presentation raises awareness of the issues associated with fake news and other disinformation and what businesses can do to combat it.

During a second interactive session, participants learn about journalism best practices, fact-checking tools and digital tools that can be used to assess news and other information. A third module features online exercises designed to build confidence in using the tools. An annual online review serves as a refresher. (Last two modules in development.)

Robust Debate


Jeannette KetonJeannette S. Keton, CEO of Palladin Inc., is a former television and newspaper reporter and software solutions company owner who has authored three books and written for a variety of news media. Jeannette reported for The San Angelo Standard-Times, The Dallas Morning News and KTBC-TV in Austin, TX. She has been published by The National Law Journal, The Philadelphia Enquirer, Texas Monthly and D Magazine, among others. She graduated summa cum laude from Southern Methodist University, where she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Journalism and was editor of the student newspaper.

Between 1996 and 2000, Jeannette and her husband founded, grew and successfully sold e.coetry, the exclusive SAP enterprise software reseller and solutions provider for small and medium sized businesses in a six-state region. Jeannette launched a communications consulting practice in 2001. She has consulted since 2004 with senior executives at Trinity Industries, Inc., a Fortune 1000 company located in Dallas. She also consulted with Baylor College of Dentistry and Children’s Medical Center, now Children’s Health System, as they planned and executed activities celebrating their 100th anniversaries. Her work with Children’s included managing the development of content for a $2 million exhibit commemorating the medical center’s history.

(real) News


For additional information, or to schedule a seminar, please fill out the following form: