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Real News: It's at your fingertips

This month, the Great Bend Tribune’s news editor (i.e., this reporter) will present an “Adulting 101” class at the Great Bend Public Library. The class for teens was named “#Fake-news,” with the description, “Learn how to tell the difference between real news and fake news.”

For those who want to sign up, the class will be at 5 p.m. on Oct. 18 at the library. To register, text @realfake to 81010.

For more than a year, the Kansas Press Association has been part of a national campaign called “Support Real News,” launched by the News Media Alliance. KPA noted the campaign “shines a light on the harm to the public caused by fake news and the importance of real news produced by respected, trusted news organizations employing high-quality, investigative journalists.”

The Associated Press recently published “Not Real News: A look at what didn’t happen this week.” It was a roundup of “the most popular but completely untrue headlines of the week,” along with the facts.

The fake headlines came from sources such as liberal activist group “The Other 98 percent,” posting on Facebook; a report “circulated widely on blogs, online news sites and social media” that confused Deborah Ramirez of Colorado with a Massachusetts woman of the same name; and “a report circulating online” that was attributed to “ABC News 14,” an affiliate that does not exist in the area where the event allegedly happened. Another site purporting to be “CBS News 15” was also fake, and no such news agency exists in the area of the fake event.

The first tip for determining if news is “real” or “fake” is to find out where it came from.

The KPA campaign calls on the public to support real news by subscribing to a local newspaper. We attempt to be accurate and to correct errors when they are brought to our attention. Above all, we’re not making this stuff up.