Fake news and how to spot it — join the discussion Feb. 13

Fake news is everywhere. What is real and what is fake? Can news sources be trusted? To counter the spread of fake news, York University Libraries is organizing a panel of journalists and academics on Feb. 13 at the Collaboratory on the second floor of Scott Library to discuss how news is gathered and disseminated, and the implications of sharing inaccurate information.

It runs from noon to 2pm, and will feature the following panellists:

• Kate Allen, Toronto Star science and technology journalist, on the topic: The Journalistic Process;
• Gail Cohen, Osgoode Hall Law School journalist-in-residence, on the topic: Fake News, Journalistic Integrity, and Trials by Media;
• John Dupuis, science and engineering librarian at York University, on the topic: Predatory Journals as Academic parasites; and
• Fred Fletcher, University professor emeritus, communication studies and political science, on the topic: “Fake News” – What it is and Why it Matters.

The event is part of an initiative to inform the York University community about and to counter the spread of fake news. Attendees will learn about the journalistic process and explore the implications of false or unreliable information as experienced through fake news.

Learning how to identify proliferating fake news and predatory journals, and be aware of the danger they pose to York researchers, scholars and the community as a whole, is crucial. Attendees will learn about what constitutes fake news and why this matters; hear about the impact of predatory journal publishing; and be given opportunities to discuss and explore issues arising from the spread of misinformation.

There will also be an opportunity to interact with journalists and academics by engaging in a question-and-answer session that follows the panel presentations.

“This is an extremely relevant and timely topic for libraries and librarians, as it is becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish reliable, authoritative content from unauthenticated or suspect information,” said Joy Kirchner, dean of York University Libraries. “York University Libraries’ teaching and learning mission, and central role in the provision of information literacy education, scholarly communication and digital scholarship embraces a  longstanding commitment to helping students, researchers and scholars engage critically with information sources and digital content they encounter and choosing appropriate journals for publishing research.”

Anyone interested in or concerned about the implications of fake news is welcome to attend.

Attendees are encouraged to arrive early to enjoy some fun activities prior to the event.

Community members may also refer to bilingual Fake News Research Guides created by York University Libraries at the following links:

researchguides.library.yorku.ca/fakenews (English)
researchguides.library.yorku.ca/fauxreportages (French)

Researchers seeking a journal in which to publish research can review YUL’s online guide.

Visitors to York University Libraries branches are invited to browse the book displays exploring this topic leading up to this event.