A biweekly publication for faculty and staff

UC Merced Library Fights 'Fake News' With Campaign, Exhibit

March 30, 2017

The legitimacy of news continues to be a hot topic in 2017. As news consumers, the responsibility is ultimately on the public to seek out accurate news reporting and to be aware of multiple perspectives.

This topic is especially important to the UC Merced Library, given our focus on information literacy. We place great value in helping our patrons understand the importance of critically evaluating the sources they use and consume. As such, the library is launching a new campaign and exhibit.

“Be Aware: Elevate Your News Evaluation” encompasses many facets, including a physical and digital exhibit, instruction materials, a social media campaign on Facebook and Twitter and several special events.

The exhibit’s main graphic is a Spectrum of News Sources poster adapted from a News Quality chart by Vanessa Otero. Both frequent and non-frequent news consumers alike have widely shared and discussed this graphic on social media in the past few weeks. The graphic, designed to be a visual representation of news sources, highlights quality and partisanship. The UC Merced Library wanted to expand on the ideas and concepts put forth in the original viral graphic and bring them to UC Merced’s campus community in a tangible and useful way.

"Be Aware: Elevate Your News Evaluation" aims to inform and generate conversation about news sources and news evaluation. Through the exhibit and larger campaign, we hope individuals will:

  • think more deeply about their own evaluation and consumption of news media sources;
  • become increasingly aware of the range of news sources available — both in quality and perspective;
  • become more knowledgeable about news sources and news types;
  • recognize that different types of news articles often have specific purposes; and
  • identify resources to assist them in news evaluation.

Two special events are planned in April:

  • April 5  "Fostering More Accurate Science Coverage: Using Science Expertise to Evaluate Journalism Presentation,” by Emmanuel Vincent, a project scientist at UC Merced’s Center for Climate Communications and lead of Climate Feedback, from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. p.m. in Room 232 of the Leo and Dottie Kolligian Library. Light refreshments to follow.
  • April 10 — “Critically Consuming News: Instructional Strategies Workshop,” taught by the library's Sara Davidson Squibb and Jeremy Mumford, and Angela Winek of the Merritt Writing Program. This event, from 1 to 2 p.m. in Room 390 of Classroom and Office Building 2, is open to faculty, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and instructional staff members.

For those who missed it, Deputy University Librarian Donald Barclay participated in a discussion with BYU radio host Matt Townsend titled “The Challenge Facing Libraries in the Era of Fake News.” Listen to the broadcast.

Barclay also participated in a Facebook Live event “Ferreting Out Fake News with Deputy University Librarian Donald Barclay." View the recording of the Facebook Live event on the UC Merced Facebook page.