KIRO NEWSRADIO OPINION

Jack and Spike: People need to know how to spot fake news

Nov 17, 2023, 1:22 PM | Updated: 1:38 pm

FILE - Desks fill a classroom in a high school in Pennsylvania on Wednesday, May 3, 2023. Gaps betw...

FILE - Desks fill a classroom in a high school in Pennsylvania on Wednesday, May 3, 2023. Gaps between how minority students perform academically in comparison to their white peers have long been an issue across the country. The disparities often stem from larger structural issues — a lack of access to quality curricula, for instance, or teachers expecting students to perform poorly. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

A recently signed piece of legislation is now requiring all K-12 students in California to learn basic media literacy in an attempt to spot fake news and increase critical thinking.

Last month, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 873 into law, requiring the state to include media literacy curriculum into its English, science, math and history classes. The new law will start rolling out beginning next year.

On The Jack and Spike Show on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM, hosts Jack Stine and Spike O’Neill talked to fellow radio personality Bob Rivers about the new law and why it’s so important.

More from the Jack and Spike Show: Seattle is no longer the most progressive city

Jack told the story of reading an article on the internet from a news outlet that had an outrageous clickbait claim.

“There was a study that was done by CBS, where they said six out of 10 Americans have fascistic leaning. That’s an astounding number,” Jack said. “I found the organization that conducted the survey, and what they did is they called 1,500 people. And the ones that don’t pick up, they just count them. It’s completely fabricated fake news. But CBS ran with it.”

Rivers said that the science that a lot of these fake news articles cite can be hard to distinguish between fact and fiction and that it is important to analyze how it is trying to make you feel and how it presents the data. Plus it’s helpful to know someone with a science background to ask for help.

“Because true science is indistinguishable from clickbait science. To all of us, myself included, even when I do research on an illness or something, I go, ‘oh, this is alarming,'” Rivers said. “And then I run it by my very smart science friend. And it’s clickbait again — designed to make you think something.”

Spike likened the issue to how it related to First Amendment arguments and free speech.

More on fake news: ChatGPT user in China detained for creating and spreading fake news, police say

“We’re going to fight for everybody’s right to have an opinion, whether it’s fact-based or BS. We should at least require people to know how to spot the BS,” said Spike.

Listen to the Jack and Spike Show weekdays from 12-3 p.m. on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Jack and Spike: People need to know how to spot fake news