What's in the News Wednesday: Credibility and Digital Footprint a là Brian Williams

In the news this week, respected NBC news anchor, Brian Williams, faces a 6-month suspension after a review of his reporting found exaggerations, inaccuracies, misrepresentations, or lies depending on your point of view.  It's a tough situation for journalism and Mr. Williams, but a great teachable moment for our students.

Why Credibility Matters
Students need to be taught to think about information critically.  Part of that critical thought process includes considering the source of the information.  Do your students know how to evaluate the credibility of their sources? 
  • What does it mean to be credible? 
  • How does a person's stature affect your trust in the information?
  • How can you check the credibility of a source?
  • What does a person's point of view have to do with their credibility?
  • What happens when you can't find a credible source for information?
  • What can you do to make sure your arguments and statements are credible?
How Digital Footprints Can Change Your Credibility
This news story also brings up the importance of building a positive digital footprint.  Everything you say or post online, or that someone else says or post about you online, becomes part of your digital footprint.  Brian Williams is one of the most influential news anchors in the country, but a post on someone's Facebook page changed all of that in an instant (well, that and the exaggeration/inaccuracy/misrepresentation/lie).  Do your students understand the impact of their digital footprint?  Take this moment to remind them! 


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