Forum helps people decipher ‘real’ from ‘fake’ news

SPARTANBURG, SC (WSPA) – Many across the country are talking about “real news” versus “fake news.”

How you can spot the difference was tackled by a panel of media professionals in Spartanburg Thursday evening.

Panelists included WSPA-TV news vice president Kirk Varner, the S.C. Press Association, a local news reporter/anchor, the Spartanburg Herald-Journal and University of South Carolina Upstate professor.

The panel discussion was titled “Consider the Source: Knowing Who to Trust and Why…Learning How to Separate Fake News from Actual News.”

Panelists talked about how social media allows misinformation to spread quickly, and that consumers have to do their part in getting factual information from reliable media outlets.

“What stood out to me this evening was the emphasis on the real media – One way you can maybe determine what’s real and what’s fake is that real is going to give you a lot more context,” said Kathleen Ellis, Co-President for the Spartanburg County League of Women Voters.

Panelists told people to understand that professional journalists follow different standards than bloggers or political commentators.

They say real journalists report facts gathered from sources.

They also say people should be their own journalists, and question the news they consume.

Media Women of South Carolina co-sponsored the event, which was held at the Spartanburg County Library on South Church Street.