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FAKE NEWS by Michael Miller


Separating Truth from Fiction

by Michael Miller

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-5415-2814-7
Publisher: Twenty-First Century/Lerner

What is fake news and how can we recognize it?

In a well-timed survey for teen readers, Miller (My iPad for Seniors, 2017, etc.) sets his introduction firmly in the present, opening with an example of President Donald Trump’s quoting of a false National Enquirer story. The author describes how legitimate news is collected and disseminated. He discusses the history of the fake news phenomenon and explains the importance of a free press. He explains bias in news sources and defines what various political labels mean in terms of ideology. Citing authoritative sources, he states that fake news is more often believed and spread by people who are politically conservative. His examples of fake or biased reports include conspiracy theories and controversies about former President Barack Obama’s birthplace, vaccinations, the 9/11 attack, the Kennedy assassination, airplane contrails, Russian interference in the 2016 election, and climate change, among others. He concludes with advice for identifying bias in news sources and offers two short lists of sources indicating the nature of their political bias and their degree of authority. He gives suggestions for combating fake news, including how best to persuade others. Informative chapter titles and subheadings make the organization clear, and excellent backmatter will encourage further exploration. Readers may find the exposition dry, but the paragraphs are broken up with color photographs and text boxes, and this subject is timely and important.

A must-have for libraries serving teens. (source notes, glossary, bibliography, further information, index) (Nonfiction. 12-18)