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Checking Facts @ NCSMA, Feb. 11, 2017

Deciphering Fake News What Should We Be Worried About?Stephanie Willen BrownDirector, Park Library @ UNCs School of Media & Journalism

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What Are We Talking About?* Not defined in any Oxford dictionaries, as of March 29, 2017


Whats the Problem?

Were all susceptible

What is the Solution?

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Created by Piper Anderson & Michelle Magsino5

How to Teach This?Politically neutralActive learning activity (or several)

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Does this photo provide strong evidence about the conditions near the Fukushima Daiichi Power Plant? Explain your reasoning.

Are Mutated Daisies Really Caused by Fukushima Radiation?

plant scientists arent so sure. Its possible the radiation could be involved, but there are a number of other explanations as well, they say.

Twitter user @san_kaido first shared the picture in late May, from Nasushiobara City. Thats about 108 miles (173 kilometers) southwest of the Fukushima Daiichi power plant, which was disabled by the March 2011 tsunami and leaked radiation into the environment.Its possible the flower deformity could have been induced by radiation, says Jeffrey J. Doyle, a professor of plant biology at Cornell University. However, this is a pretty common mutation in daisies that Ive seen sporadically in various places not associated with radioactivity, he says.There are many factors that can cause the oddity, Doyle says, from chemicals to diseases, a hormone imbalance, or random mutations to inherited genes. This particular malformation has been seen in numerous species of the worlds 20,000 members of the daisy family, from Holland to Idaho.He's not ruling out a role for Fukushima: It wouldnt surprise me to find mutations of all types, including this one, in places that have higher than average levels of mutagenic agents, such as a radioactive site or toxic waste dump.Beth Krizek, a plant biologist at the University of South Carolina, agrees that radiation is a possible cause of the flower oddity, but says there are many other possible explanations.Its not that rare, Krizek says of the odd daisies. You could occasionally see this just in plants growing in your garden. 7


ResourcesBrown, Stephanie W. Checking Facts. UNC School of Media & Journalism, March 31, 2017. Further resources on overcoming fake newsLesson plansRecommended fact checking sitesSources for this presentation

Stop worrying about fake news. What comes next will be much worse | Jonathan Albright | Opinion | The Guardian


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