Want to be a #truthseeker in an era of “alternative facts”? Check out the Truth Seekers series of workshops starting this week:
- “Fake News” 101 – Tuesday, February 21st – 2:15-3:00pm
- “Fake News” 101 (SophoMORE workshop)– Tuesday, February 28th—2:15-3:15pm
- The Truth is Out There – Tuesday, March 21st—2:15-3:00pm
For more information, we’ve compiled a list of books about fact-checking, critical thinking, and misinformation in the news. See some of these books on display in the Library and read reviews of select titles below:
Virtual Unreality: The New Era of Digital Deception
By Charles Seife
DC Call Number – 025.04 Se42v
The author explains how to tell truth from fantasy in the digital world, and why it matters. Today, the Internet allows us to spread information faster and to more people than ever before. Charles Seife takes the reader deep into the information jungle and cuts a path through the fakery that the Internet enables, providing a much-needed toolkit to help separate fact from fiction.
Broadcast Hysteria: Orson Welles’s War of the Worlds and the Art of Fake News
By A. Brad Schwartz
DC Call Number – 791.4472 Sch95d
On the evening of October 30, 1938, radio listeners across the United States heard a startling report of a meteor strike in the New Jersey countryside, but the hair-raising broadcast was not a real news bulletin–it was Orson Welles’s adaptation of the H. G. Wells classic The War of the Worlds. Few listeners believed an actual attack was under way. But even so, Schwartz shows that Welles’s broadcast became a major scandal, prompting a different kind of mass panic as Americans debated the bewitching power of the radio and the country’s vulnerability in a time of crisis. The present-day popularity of “fake news” can be traced back to its source in Welles’s show and its many imitators.
Deciding What’s True: The Rise of Political Fact-checking in American Journalism
By Lucas Graves
DC Call Number – 302.23 G785d
Over the past decade, American outlets such as PolitiFact, FactCheck.org, and the Washington Post‘s Fact Checker have shaken up the political world by holding public figures accountable for what they say. In a hyperpartisan world, facts can easily slip into fiction, and decisions about which claims to investigate and how to judge them are frequently denounced as unfair play. Graves vividly recounts the routines of journalists at three of these organizations and what informs their approach to a story.
A Survival Guide to the Misinformation Age: Scientific Habits of Mind
By David J. Helfand
DC Call Number – 500 H366s
We live in the Information Age, with billions of bytes of data just two swipes away. Yet how much of this is mis- or even disinformation? A lot of it is, and your search engine can’t tell the difference. This book provides an inoculation against the misinformation epidemic by cultivating scientific habits of mind. This survival guide supplies a set of apps for the brain while making science both accessible and entertaining.
A Field Guide to Lies: Critical Thinking in the Information Age
By Daniel J. Levitin
DC Call Number – 153.42 L579f
We are bombarded with more information each day than our brains can process—especially in election season. This New York Times bestselling author shows how to recognize misleading announcements, statistics, graphs, and written reports. Levitin groups his guide into two categories—statistical information and faulty arguments—ultimately showing how science is the bedrock of critical thinking. He defines infoliteracy as the understanding that there are hierarchies of source quality and bias that variously distort our information feeds.