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News Literacy Week: Becoming a smarter, more active news consumer

Posted: 4:09 PM, Jan 13, 2022
Updated: 2023-01-18 14:15:50-05

PHOENIX — We're in the new age of technology where we have access to any information we want with the swipe of a finger, but with that instant access comes misinformation and false statements.

Those false rumors and conspiracy theories can create serious and even deadly situations.

That is why ABC15 is taking action to confront the rise of misinformation and partnering with the News Literacy Project for News Literacy Week.

Over the past year, the world has been adjusting to a new normal.

We saw the mass roll-out of the coronavirus vaccine as people around the world lined up to get their shot, but even as millions got vaccinated, millions of others lost their lives. But the consequences of misinformation did not stop there.

We saw rioters storm the U.S. Capitol and protests at the Arizona State Capitol over election results, some people to this day still refusing to accept President Joe Biden’s win.

Over the past few years, we have had so much coming at us every day and it seems like it might never stop, so how do you know what is fact and what is fiction when it comes to your news?

We are working to help you understand what misinformation is and how you can fight back against it.

To make sure you are consuming the right mix of verified facts, credible sources, and relevant context, we are challenging you to test your news literacy fitness with our quiz at Each day this week, we're telling stories that take a look at how to be a smart and engaged news consumer.

Check out our townhall with Steve Irvin, data analyst Garrett Archer, and ASU News Co/Lab managing director Kristy Roschke breaking down ways to spot misinformation, and how to work on your own news literacy.

Psychology of misinformation

From TV to the internet, and even in your everyday interactions, misinformation can make its way into almost everything you hear and read.

So why is it that your Facebook friend or family member believes the false information?

We talked to a misinformation expert to find out why people believe what they believe.

Why do people believe in misinformation?

Student town hall

It's been 40 years since Walter Cronkite signed off the air, and students at ASU's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication know that journalism has evolved since that time.

Having access to any information you might need at any point in time can be overwhelming.

With that access to information, comes misinformation, and right now we're living in a time where journalists are facing more scrutiny than ever — yet a record number of students are still choosing the profession.

Steve Irvin sits down with students who are about to enter the workforce to talk about what it means to be unbiased and why they want to become journalists.

Journalism students talk about the future of the industry

Digital media literacy class

Information is everywhere you look and we're becoming more aware that what you find online or hear on TV is not always accurate.

Kristy Roschke runs the NewsColab at Arizona State University, the organization works to education media organizations and other companies about media literacy.

The lab also offers a free class to members of the community.

The Mediactive course is open to anyone, not just ASU students, it's self-paced and helps you gain tools to spot misinformation.

The Reboot Foundation offers resources for adults and the Arizona PBS offers resources for children.

News Literacy Week: Tools to help stop the spread of misinformation

Misinformation in the 2020 Maricopa County election audit

The Maricopa County Election Audit cost taxpayers almost $9 million and for 14 months it made headlines across the country. Much of the narrative, rooted in misinformation.

The company hired by Senate Republicans, Cyber Ninjas, released 70 claims of inaccuracies in ballots and procedures. This year,Arizona election officials refuted nearly all of those false claims except one.

Steve Irvin sat down with ABC15 data analyst Garrett Archer about how easy it is to manipulate numbers.

Misinformation in the 2020 Maricopa County election audit