Gimme Some Truth

Can you spot fake news in the real world?  Do you want to be better than a Google search at finding relevant, accurate, timely information? Can you fact check political stories in foreign countries? Do you want to learn more about how to avoid and recover from online financial scams?
Join WDET and area libraries for discussion about the real impact of misinformation...and find out where you and your entire family can find the facts you need!

Come to our events and be part of the conversation: 

Gimme Some Truth: At the Southfield Public Library on Wednesday, Sept. 26

Speakers include: James Krueger, reference librarian at Southfield Library; Jeff Milo, WDET and Ferndale Area District Library; Laura Sheble, Wayne State University School of Information Sciences; Chastity Pratt Dawsey, Bridge Magazine, Deputy Chief Brian Bassett, Southfield Police Department.

Gimme Some Truth: With Grosse Pointe Public Library on Wednesday, Oct. 10 at Grosse Pointe South High School

Gimme Some Truth: At Wayne State University School of Information Sciences on Thursday, Oct.  25

Duke Reporters' Lab

An increasing number of organizations ARE fact checking, the Duke Reporters' Lab finds. In the last year, the number tripled, with groups on six continents. (Antarctica is missing, that seems reasonable.) 


E.S.C.A.P.E. Junk News

Developed by the Newseum as part of its media literacy effort, the E.S.C.A.P.E. approach means validating information by enacting the concepts behind acronym: Evidence, Source, Context, Audience, Purpose and Execution.

If you're wondering about the accuracy of something someone posted on social media, Snopes probably can tell you. Relevant. Timely. Well-researched. covers "stories" related to breaking news events and long-time so-called urban legends.

With specialized subsites for health, science, political literacy, and internet rumors, also lets you ask questions. It's run by the Annenberg Public Policy Center as a nonpartisan, nonprofit, "consumer advocate" for voters and aims to "reduce the level of deception and confusion in American politics. The site also has annotated transcripts of Trump's remarks.

Red Feed, Blue Feed

Check out the side-by-side looks at real Facebook conversations from different perspectives, as provided by the Wall Street Journal. The newspaper created a "blue" feed and a "red" feed and assigned conservative or liberal alignment for the story sources. The site presents them side-by-side so you can compare the approaches that appear in our feeds, depending on what Facebook essentially "chooses" for us.

What started as an election year project became an ongoing website to verify or correct what U.S. politicians say. Operated by the nonprofit Poynter Institute for Media Studies, PolitiFact also runs a companion website, PunditFact, fact checks TV's talking heads, bloggers, columnists, political analysts, and hosts and guests on talk shows.

News Literacy Project

News Literacy Project

This national nonprofit focuses on helping students evaluate online information sources with several resources for teachers. Note: Registration required.

Past WDET "Gimme Some Truth" Events:


Livonia Public Library, Wednesday, Aug. 1

Separating fact from fiction takes some effort, but evaluating information helps everyone be a better news consumer, said Shavon Desai, a University of Michigan librarian who also teaches an undergraduate class in information literacy. She was one of several speakers at the Livonia event who talked about how online information and how to find the best, most accurate news about the world and the local community.

Avoiding online scams takes some awareness about scammers' methods and the technology many of us use daily, the Livonia audience learned from LaToya Hall, of Wayne State University's Institute of Gerontology. Hall is part of the Success After Financial Exploitation initiative, a free program for people 55 and older. "Strengths that older adults have also make them more vulnerable," she said. 

Plymouth District Library, Thursday, June 26

Social media, myriad "news" organizations and financial frauds are all part of today's online world, for better or for worse. The audience at this Gimme Some Truth event, hosted by the Plymouth District Library, learned more about each of these dynamics and how to avoid being scammed by false information. Speakers were Garlin Gilchrist from the University of Michigan Center for Social Media, Angie Oehrli from the University of Michigan Libraries, and LaToya Hall from Wayne State University's Institute of Gerontology.

Brent Ross for WDET

Unity Forum: Interrupting Bias, Thursday, April 26

City of Troy

WDET’s Sandra Svoboda presented “Gimme Some Truth: Spotting Fake News in the Real World” as part of this annual event, presented by the Troy Area Alliance Against Hate Crimes.” More information here.

Here is Sandra's presentation from the event.

Ferndale Area District Library, Thursday, Jan. 25

A local librarian, Michelle Williamson, adult services librarian in Ferndale, and a teacher, Lauren Villaluz, with Ferndale, Holly and Oakland schools, presented their "lesson plans" for helping students separate reliable information from fantasy. Two students, Kyra Newman and Victoria Shoot,  shared some useful apps including Moment. ("Do you REALLY want to know how much time you spend on your phone?" we asked ourselves.) 

A second panel explored the role and cost of misinformation in the Ferndale Community. Ferndale Police Sgt. Baron Brown warned about the dangers from a law enforcement perspective, and Matt Helms, co-founder of the Fabulous Ferndale Forum Facebook group, discussed how moderators embrace free speech keeping an eye on the truth factor too. Bridge Magazine Reporter Chastity Pratt Dawsey explained how to think like a reporter: check your facts, vet your sources, repeat.

Here's archived video of the event on the Ferndale Area District Library Facebook page.

You Heard it on WDET:

On Point: Russians indicted for spreading misinformation during 2016 Election

On Point airs on WDET 101.9 FM at 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. weekdays.

Detroit Today: What is truth? And does it matter in 2016?

Why do we lie? Nat Geo writer says it's human nature

The weaponizing of "fake news" in modern politics

Are efforts problematic to filter "fake news" on Google and Facebook?

Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson airs on WDET 101.9 FM at 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. weekdays.


In the News: Fake news tweets targeted Michigan during presidential election "Fake news" as an overused term Can You Believe It? On Twitter, False Stories Are Shared More Widely Than True Ones

Project Partners:

Ferndale Area District Library, Ferndale Police Department, Ferndale Public Schools, Fabulous Ferndale Forum, Plymouth District Library, Livonia Public Library, Grosse Pointe Public Library, Southfield Public Library

Bridge Magazine,Detroit Public Television

Wayne State University School of Information Sciences, Wayne State University Institute of Gerontology

If you're interested in working with WDET to host an event, please contact Sandra Svoboda at 313-577-4255 or

Credit to Jeff Milo for originating the series.

Support for this work, part of WDET's collaborations with the Detroit Journalism Cooperative, comes from John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.