Real Tools to Determine Real News.News literacy for the workplace.
Fake or Fact? Real Tools to Determine Real News is an interactive program designed to raise awareness regarding the importance of thinking critically about news and other information. Journalism best practices and fact-checking approaches are translated into tools that can be used to distinguish factual information from fake news and misinformation.
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.
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.”
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.
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?
“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….”
“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
Impacts on civil society – and business
Mainstream media, while far from perfect, plays an important role in civil society by covering real events and real people and sharing that information with the public. It also serves as a force for government accountability. Our democratic republic, and by extension, business, is at risk when a majority of voters are unable to recognize fact-based news and information.
Restoring Trust in Business
Trust in mainstream institutions has declined significantly in western democracies in recent years, in part due to the rise of disinformation and a growing inability to discern the facts. America, in particular, is experiencing a trust crisis. During 2017, trust among the informed public in the U.S. imploded, placing trust levels within the United States among the lowest in the world. Recognizing employee concerns and giving them tools to identify disinformation is a first step towards restoring trust.
“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.
“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
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
Corporate Vice President, Human Resources
Trinity Industries, 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
“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.”
Fake or Fact? Real Tools to Determine Real News brings to the workplace news literacy as well as increased awareness about information manipulation. The seminar challenges participants to use critical thinking and problem-solving skills to identify misinformation and assess the impartiality and factual accuracy of coverage of real events and people. Technological developments, laws and political forces that impact news and information consumers are also discussed.
Fake or Fact? uses presenter narration, audio/video excerpts, interactive polling, exercises and small group discussions to explain the agendas behind fake news and encourage employees to think critically about news and other information. The seminar is supported by a visual, story based, interactive platform and an online polling app that enables participants to provide feedback and submit questions real-time. The results of a pre-seminar survey pertaining to fake news, trust in the news media, and news consumption habits are presented at various points in the seminar along with the results of national surveys that asked the same questions.
Jeannette 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.
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