Media Literacy

California Lawmaker Wants Teens to Learn to Identify Fake News

A California lawmaker is taking steps he hopes will fight fake news, the Associated Press and other news outlets are reporting.

Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez introduced a bill this week to help high schools teach students to distinguish real news from fake.

The Los Angeles Democrat said students in grades 7-12 should learn reasoning skills to assess what they read online. AB 155 would commission new curriculum standards in English language arts, math, history/social science and science that include strategies for identifying false stories.

The problem of false reports masquerading as news emerged as a major issue from the 2016 election. Many such reports were shared widely on social media during the campaign.

Also, a recent study from Stanford University determined that many students are having a difficult time judging the credibility of online news and distinguishing real news from fake news or advertisements.

Gomez said in his bill that fake news poses “a direct threat to our democracy.”

About the Author

Richard Chang is associate editor of THE Journal. He can be reached at [email protected].