The world of news can be confusing and fake news is a real problem. There are lots of ways you can help your child to navigate the news and feel confident when reading it.
Talk through the tips below together to help your child decide if a news article is fake, biased or factual.
Is it fake?
- You’ve never heard of the organisation who published it
- It isn’t reported by other (trusted) news organisations
- Does the website address look unusual?
- Does the design of the page look unusual?
- There are lots of spelling mistakes
- There are no quotes from real sources
- It includes informal phrases like: “You won’t believe what happened next!”
- The picture does not show the real people or events in the story
If the answer to lots of questions is yes, it sounds like it might be fake!
Is it biased?
- The report is unbalanced: it only shows one side of the story
- The report is trying to make you do something or believe something
- The headline is misleading
- The report uses only negative or only positive language to describe the people in the story
If the answer to lots of questions is yes, it sounds like it might be biased!
Is it factual?
- The report includes the reporter’s own opinions
- The facts are not supported by evidence (such as quotes, images or statistics)
- It is a rumour or a speculation?
If the answer to lots of questions is yes, it sounds like it might be factual!
Take a look at this list of child-friendly news websites.