Addressing the Challenge of Guiding Our Students on how to Deal with Fake News

Val Hooper
InSITE 2019  •  2019  •  pp. 021-032
Aim/Purpose: In the face of the onslaught of fake news, we aim to address the challenge of how we, as academics, can guide our students to be able to critically assess and evaluate information.
Background Fake news has assumed alarming proportions and is a challenge to academia, organizations, causes and governments. How can our students be prepared to deal with this challenge?

Methodology: Development of guidelines based on a literature review of multiple literatures.
Contribution A set of guidelines is presented, which can be used by academics and students in their determination of which is valid and truthful information and which is fake.

Findings: A set of guidelines in which the core aspects of information and fake news communication as discussed. They are: fake news; social media; and the receiver’s motivation; expectations; attitudes, biases, predispositions and brand loyalty; media engagement; and reference groups.

Recommendations for Practitioners: The guidelines will help students deal with the phenomenon of fake news.

Recommendations for Researchers: This research shows how communication theory can be used to address fake news. It also demonstrates a multi-disciplinary approach.

Impact on Society: Greater caution and discernment regarding information will be instilled into the minds of our students as future leaders of our economies and society.

Future Research: Qualitative and quantitative expansion and testing of the validity of the find-ings; further testing of the impact of age, gender, culture and discipline studied on the influential factors proposed.
fake news, social media, communication theory, the receiver
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