“Fake News”: Those who only read headlines do not know what news is, defends an expert

Defends media literacy expert Belinha de Abreu

Media literacy specialist Belinha de Abreu defended that anyone who reads only the headlines does not know what is news and what is misinformation, stressing that people must be willing to pay for the articles.

«I often hear that people only read the first sentence, the 'headline' [headline] because they don't want to pay, but those who only see the 'headline' cannot completely see the story, nor do they know what true news is », said the 'president & global media literacy educator' of the International Council for Media Literacy Belinha de Abreu, speaking to Lusa.

The specialist, who was speaking on the sidelines of the conference “Trust in journalism, escape disinformation”, which took place at the headquarters of Lusa, in Lisbon, defended that people have to better choose the information they want to have access to and that, this, implies , often pay for the news.

Belinha de Abreu also mentioned that, nowadays, young people already believe that everything is disinformation, but they do not know how to distinguish an opinion from news.

“Young people need to listen to different people. Talking to other nationalities to let them know that the world is bigger [...] and if they also use social networks and the internet in that sense, they will realize that there are different ways of thinking», he added.

For Commander Santos Fernandes, head of the planning division of the General Staff of the Navy, distrust is more associated with old age, while young people «need immediate action in which almost everything is understood as a fact».

In this context, Santos Fernandes believes that artificial intelligence will assume a dual role, since it can be «a tool for the disinformer, but also for those who fight disinformation».

Researcher Vítor Tomé, who also participated in the conference organized by Lusa, said that journalism and journalists can assume different roles in the fight against 'fake news' (disinformation).

This starts with “doing your job, using new tools. The second [role] is to explain the production process: how did you get here? How did we do this? Show people […] that this is reliable and reliable information», he underlined.

On the other hand, as he pointed out, journalists also have the function of training the population, and it is “essential” that these professionals take part in media literacy projects.

«People have no idea what it's like to do journalism and often confuse the Beira road with the side of the road. Citizen journalism is not journalism. Journalism is something else, it has certain rules and requires a professional license », he noted.

Asked about the existence of sufficient resources to develop this work, Vítor Tomé mentioned that there is a shortage of financial and human resources, but considered that it is necessary to “do what is possible” with what is available.

The documentary “Trust Me”, by the American Roko Belic, was shown at the conference, which addresses disinformation in the digital age, using testimonials from scientists, government officials, psychologists and journalists.

“Trust Me” warns of how the public can detect the manipulation of sources and information, filtering what is factual and what is not, and thus preventing the proliferation of 'fake news'.