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JUSTICE
Library Instruction West 2020
Seattle, Washington
July 22-24
#liw20
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Friday, July 24 • 9:30am - 10:45am
Informing the Crisis of Fake News

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While misinformation, disinformation, and propaganda are not new phenomena, the phrase "fake news" recasts them as a novel crisis requiring different solutions and new saviors. This proposed session focuses on how "fake news" as a concept is used to further injustice and elide social conflict. When library workers better perceive how educators, industry leaders, or politicians wield the phrase "fake news" to legitimize certain interests and delegitimize others, they more effectively help students avoid being manipulated. They also become less likely to further oppression through  library instruction programs.

The rhetoric of "fake news" in education and industry constructs a crisis around information and evaluation, simultaneously positioning certain disciplines and ways of knowing as ineffective. "Fake news" presents a simple, stark binary of truths and falsehoods, rather than promoting a nuanced understanding of how humans communicate knowledge and interpretation of phenomena through language use. Instead of teaching students to evaluate communication by situating claims within social contexts, the phrase "fake news" masks social conflict in order to avoid discussion of values or ethics. The phrase prepares learners to readily discount both claims and claimants, to avoid recognizing historical and ongoing injustice.

Critical information literacy programs better promote justice when library workers help learners develop a practice of situating claims within social, political, and economic contexts. In addition to analyzing the pedagogical function of "fake news," or how the phrase teaches learners to adopt a dismissive attitude toward claims, the session will have library workers examine its use in institutional and political projects of delegitimization.

Speakers
avatar for Ryan P. Randall

Ryan P. Randall

Instruction Coordinator & Faculty Outreach Librarian, College of Western Idaho


Friday July 24, 2020 9:30am - 10:45am
HUB 334 (Seats 60)

Attendees (4)