Talking about . . . fake news
News and an independent press are a crucial part of a healthy democracy. The electorate needs good information to make informed decisions. What are the consequences of having fake news in our news mix? What is fake news? Is it possible to identify fake news so that consumers recognize it as such? Do we have a healthy media culture and if not what would a healthy media culture look like?
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Background reading (optional)
While you don't need to be an expert on this topic, sometimes people want background information. Our partner, AllSides, has prepared a variety of articles reflecting multiple sides of this topic.
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Want to listen to an actual Living Room Conversation?
Check out our listings on LRC Radio or watch this conversation about fake news.
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Now that you are all together, here we go!
This Living Room Conversation flows through five rounds of questions and a closing. Some rounds ask you to answer each question. Others feature multiple questions that serve as conversation starters — you need only respond to the one or two you find most interesting.
Before you begin your conversation, please go over the Conversation Ground Rules with your participants.
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One. Why are we here?
What interested you or drew you to this conversation?
Two. Your core values
- What sense of purpose / mission / duty guides you in your life?
- What would your best friend say about who you are and what makes you “tick”?
- What are your hopes and concerns for your community and/or the country?
Three. Fake news and social media
Remember that the goal of this Living Room Conversation is for each participant to listen to and learn about the different opinions within the group to see where you might share interests, intentions and goals.
- What is fake news? What makes it fake?
- Is fake news a problem? Why?
- How do you decide what news sources to trust?
- Have you ever discovered a story you had talked about or shared on social media was “fake news?” What happened?
- What does a healthy news and social media landscape look like?
- In one sentence, share what was most meaningful / valuable to you in the experience of this Living Room Conversation.
- What learning, new understanding or common ground was found on this topic?
- Has this conversation changed your perception of anyone in this group, including yourself?
Five. Accomplishment and moving forward
- What is one important thing you thought was accomplished here?
- Is there a next step you would like to take based upon the conversation you just had?
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