By Archie, Aged 12.
Reporting for The Newsroom Club.
This week it has come to my attention that there has been yet another scandal involving fake news. It affects people my age because in a few years I will be voting for the election and it is very confusing to see stories that I cannot trust which means that I could be voting all based on fake news.
This year, fake news has become such a huge story, but the thing that needs to be challenged I think is that we should speak openly about it. So many of my friends read stories on websites that seem so unbelievable it is so difficult to tell whether it is true or not. If we don’t become more aware or know how to spot a story that is perhaps untrue, how are we ever going to trust any news stories we read and how are we then going to learn and form opinions about things if we don’t know whom to believe?
A lot of adults that I speak to are confused themselves, but the advice seems to be to stick to the main news channels such as BBC as they have a fantastic reputation as seeking out the truth behind a story. And what about newspapers and online channels, how are we supposed to trust them when they might be new sites and actually just trying to get our attention by posting or writing about something that they know will interest me?
If I am thinking about these questions, there must be so many other people around also thinking the same thing, which suggests that maybe something should be done about it. That’s why I love my time at The Newsroom Club. It gives me the chance to really understand what news is, where it comes from and how I can start to tell whether a story is true or not. In the last session, we looked at news headlines and tried to guess which ones were real stories and which were made up. It was quite surprising and actually the thing I found most interesting was working out what the story was actually about from the headline – some stories where nothing like the headline, how can that be a real news story?
At least I am now aware of what ‘Fake News’ could look like, but I have learnt never to take a story on its face value, question whether it is the truth, and generally I have leant that if it is too good to be true, it is!