As the COVID-19 global pandemic settles into the United States, people are relying even more heavily on news and the media for information. Faculty in the WVU Reed College of Media are not only using this unprecedented circumstance to teach important lessons in the classroom, but they are also sharing their expertise with the public.
Dana Coester, an associate professor and the executive editor for the collaborative media outlet 100 Days in Appalachia, and Bob Britten, a teaching associate professor whose class partners with PolitiFact to fact-check the accuracy of claims by elected officials, have shared tips on how to differentiate fact from fiction online.
“We are already in a disrupted state for receiving credible information,” Coester said. “While social media can be an invaluable tool for informing and organizing community members - connecting us to resources and local efforts underway - it is also a source of mis and disinformation that can seed panic or chaos in a crisis. We urge community members to look to local news and other trusted sources for vetted information on the pandemic.”