“Fake news” has become a widespread phrase in our world today. With so many different ways to obtain information and the internet not always being reliable, it can be tough to differentiate what is true and what is false. With 2020 being an incredibly newsworthy year, CB students are trying their best to stay up […]
“Fake news” has become a widespread phrase in our world today. With so many different ways to obtain information and the internet not always being reliable, it can be tough to differentiate what is true and what is false. With 2020 being an incredibly newsworthy year, CB students are trying their best to stay up to date on all the happenings of our world. So how exactly can we tell if the news we are consuming every day is credible or not? I spoke with four of my fellow peers to get the inside scoop on how they personally are handling this modern problem.
I decided to start this journey by speaking with Adam Sunderman (’24), one of the newest members of the Christian Brothers community. In the past, it has been unlikely for a high schooler to be so avidly reading or watching the news, but as Adam puts it, “it’s important to stay up to date, especially now.”
The first-year Falcon told me of his first recollection of paying attention to the news only a year ago when his 8th grade class competed in a current event weekly competition that motivated him to check the news each week. Adam relies on the Associated Press news app on his iPad to learn about the world’s goings-on from an unbiased perspective.
“I like to pick and choose what stories I look at, and if there’s a big story, I try to stay current with stuff like that,” he says.
Adam frequently checks the notifications he receives from the app “In a time like this, I check more often. and it’s usually at least once every couple of days most of the time, once a day in the morning.”
As to how Adam attempts to tackle credibility, he looks for unbiased sources and will occasionally check other various sites to ensure credibility. Like Adam, sophomore Maddie McDougall (’23) will also check multiple sources to ensure truthful news.
Maddie gets her news from the New York Times app on her phone and receives headlines for big news stories. If the topic is of interest to her, she always makes sure to read the full article. Unlike Adam, Maddie frequently finds information regarding the news locally or nationally through social media such as Instagram.
“Personally, I follow local activism like the Black Lives Matter Sacramento Instagram account and Sacramento Activism.”
Maddie’s solution to reliable and truthful news is to check multiple sources and determine if she trusts the statements made.
“I believe that if the source is credible and is in line with other articles I’ve read, I think that I’m reluctant to check it, and I do lack in this field.”
Maddie is well informed, checking the news every day on her phone and occasionally catching MSNBC on TV with her family. The first time she began to pay attention to the news and check it was after her 6th grade mock presidential election back in 2016.
“I felt like if I’m going to make this decision to vote for this candidate, I think I should take the time to make myself knowledgeable about why I’m doing that.”
Cooper Davey (’22), on the other hand, has a slightly different philosophy for determining the accuracy of the news.
“Sometimes if it sounds super-duper important, I will go searching for it, but I just have to trust my gut at some point.” When he does decide to check credibility, though, he makes sure to check multiple websites and not repeat the same source so as not to get the same biases, “It just feels like everyone is kind of biased these days, so you don’t know what to trust anymore.”
Cooper gets his news from various sources — from his parents, who read the news from their phones, to his friends through social media.
“The news just kinda comes to me more often,” he says. Cooper attempts to stay up to date on big stories, and in a time like now with so much to hear about, he has noticed that he find himselfs and his friends more often discussing and learning about current events.
For Dylan Julia Cooper (’21), reading the news has been a sort of family tradition.
“I’ve been reading the news since I was about six years old. <y dad and I used to sit and read the newspaper every morning over breakfast together,” she says. Since her youth, Dylan has continued to stay informed by checking the news from the Apple news app as well as The Economist through a weekly subscription her grandfather got for her. In addition to this, she occasionally watches MSNBC, although that is rare for her.
As news has traveled to the world of social media, Dylan has become pretty skeptical.
“If I see news on the internet, I check the source just because some things on the internet, like Twitter or Instagram put out so many links and people only read the headlines — that’s not enough to make something a fact, so you always got to check what the sources are and where it’s coming from”
Credibility is of huge importance for Dylan, and she even would go as far as to say that one of her biggest pet peeves is false statistics.
“If they have statistics, a really quick internet search is easy to tell you whether that is a legitimate study or not.”
Dylan spends quite a bit of time following the news, sometimes at least several hours each day. For Dylan, it is the number one way to procrastinate.
Whether you’re looking for ways to be informed about current events or you want to find a way to ensure what you are hearing is true, take some advice from these CB students who have had to navigate this tricky situation firsthand.