Facing Facts

The Truth About Fake News and What To Do About It

In 2020, faculty from Iowa State University's Greenlee School of Journalism and ISU Graduate Students in Psychology led an online, interactive media literacy workshop identifying and developing tools in order to better navigate the shifting media landscape. A team of experts defined the role of journalists versus media, identified how to develop visual literacy skills, explored why our brains are persuaded by misinformation, and shared mindfulness tips around news consumption.

Watch the presentation here.

Presented in partnership with Ames Public Library, Iowa State University Greenlee School of Journalism and Iowa State University Graduate Students in Psychology.

We’re excited to have you participate in Facing Facts: The Truth About Fake News and What To Do About It! Before we dive in, please check out these media literacy resources selected by our presenters to help orient and prime your thinking for the topics that will be covered in the workshop.


A Pandemic of Misinformation by Howard Schneider

5 Ways to Fight Fake News by Sam Littlefair


TEDx – The Power of Mindfulness: What You Practice Grows Stronger


News literacy quiz #1

News literacy quiz #2

Iowa State University Library Guide

Psychology in Everyday Life: Discerning Fake News

How to Spot Fake News - Factcheck.org video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AkwWcHekMdo

Interactive Media Bias Chart: https://www.adfontesmedia.com/

Privacy – How does incognito mode work?: https://us.norton.com/internetsecurity-privacy-how-does-incognito-mode-work.html

Xander’s Ligament: https://www.buzzfeed.com/cameronwilson/youtube-xanders-ligament-fake-name-scientific-journal


Image research:

TinEye: https://tineye.com/

Google reverse image search: https://images.google.com/

Snopes.com (Fauxtography archive): https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/category/photos/


Factcheck.org: https://www.factcheck.org/

Julie Roosa is the First Amendment Specialist at the Iowa State University Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication. Her position is devoted to improving understanding about the First Amendment and involves outreach, training, and teaching. She earned a law degree and master’s degree from Drake University, where she focused on the First Amendment, Constitutional law, civil rights, media law, and journalism. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Iowa State University in Journalism.

Sherry Berghefer is an associate teaching professor in the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication at Iowa State University. Her areas of expertise are in visual communication and human computer interaction. She has more than 20 years of experience, both as a practitioner and as an educator. As a former reporter, she understands the importance of being able to trust news sources. As a visual communicator, she understands how critical truthfulness is in visual messages.

Anthony Miller is a  graduate student in Iowa State University's Cognitive Psychology program.

Rachel O'Donnell is a second-year graduate student in Iowa State University's Cognitive Psychology program. She conducts research in the Memory, Law, and Education lab ISU, where she primarily studies eyewitness memory and the misinformation effect. 

Crystal Jewell is a graduate student co-majoring in the Cognitive Psychology and Neuroscience Interdepartmental programs at Iowa State University. Her work revolves around mindfulness and creativity, where she currently uses electroencephalography (EEG) to record brain electrical activity in tandem with behavioral measures to understand the many subjective and objective facets that intertwine the two experiences together.

Ryan Ditchfield is a doctoral candidate in Social Psychology at Iowa State University. He specializes in psychological issues in the justice system, including eyewitness decision making, forensic evidence, and police interrogations. 

Corrine Schwarting is a first year student in the counseling psychology PhD program. Her research and personal interests are around substance use behaviors, mindfulness/meditation, therapeutic benefits of nature, and stopping the spread of fake news.

Jessica E. Munoz is a graduate student in the Psychology Department at Iowa State University. She conducts research in the psychology and law domain to examine the social-cognitive factors underlying wrongful convictions. She plans to focus on forensic evidence evaluation, false confessions, and racial biases in the legal system.

Hugo Seguin is a graduate student in the Psychology Department at Iowa State University. He studies media effects on the individual, media violence, and gaming.

Tyler Knapland is a PhD Student studying Psychology at Iowa State University. His research focuses on attitude structure, function, and change.

Ebby Brown is a Library Assistant at Ames Public Library. She assists with program development, outreach, and serving the greater Ames community.