One ingredient for a functioning society is a shared understanding of what takes place in the world. Interpretations of the meaning of given events can vary greatly, but ideally we would all begin from the same starting point regarding what actually occurred. Assuring this shared understanding is the function of journalism and news gathering. In an age in which many people receive their information from social media or politically charged web sites, traditional journalism – with its emphasis on carefully documented assertions – is under grave threat.

It is easier to get clicks and page views by posting provocative content, whether or not this has any basis in fact. Such tactics should be extremely concerning to librarians, who seek to provide access to authoritative content from many points of view. Fortunately, there are many ways librarians can resist the pull of false news, by educating themselves about the marks of a credible source and sharing this knowledge with their patrons.

This webinar with Marcus Banks, author of the American Libraries magazine article “Fighting Fake News”, will provide a toolkit for librarians, both academic and public, about how to identify and promote reliable sources of news.


Original broadcast February 28, 2017

Marcus A. Banks ~ Biography
Marcus A. Banks is a journalist with many years of experience as a health sciences librarian. He has worked for the National Library of Medicine, University of California San Francisco, University of California Davis, and Samuel Merritt University. Marcus has been a reference and instruction librarian, department manager, and library director. Throughout his professional career he was also a writer, and eventually decided to become a writer full-time. His web site (https://marcusabanks.com/) has clips to some of his work. Of particular interest for this webinar, Marcus recently published the piece “Fighting Fake News” in American Libraries magazine (available at https://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/2016/12/27/fighting-fake-news/).