For me, it really started in earnest with a slow Bronco chase down a California freeway which was captured live and broadcast to the world. Since then, there’s such a proliferation of media sources, all trying to be first and exclusive with reporting. It was a natural spillover to the Internet where people share everything (and anything). It’s the anything that should be of concern.
For use in workshops about searching and authentication, I had compiled this list of “Sites that should make you go Hmmm“. It’s interesting to direct students to any of the sites and ask them to do research. (My favourite is the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus) It’s all in the sake of online literacy and recognizing that just because it’s on the Internet or Google-able doesn’t necessarily make it true. Insert a call for digital literacy and a good teacher-librarian here.
Now, we can’t send all media people back to Grade 5 but they can up the ante. They need to check out the Verification Handbook.
But, I would suggest that this resource is good for everyone.
It’s uniquely available – it’s 14 bucks through Lulu. But the authors have also made it freely available under a Creative Commons license from their site.
You can read it online, download it in PDF for a number of different formats.
Check it out – after a read, there should be fewer and fewer reasons for getting caught looking for an octopus in a tree.