Daily Video

May 6, 2018

Who, what, when, where, why do hyperpartisan news sites exist?

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Video summary
  • PBS NewsHour’s four-part series on “Junk News” explores who is behind creating inflammatory news sites and why.
  • Science correspondent Miles O’Brien profiles a leading purveyor of junk news, Cyrus Massoumi, who has made millions of dollars exploiting the trend toward hyperpartisan news.
  • In order to attract readers toward his websites, Massoumi and his team create eye-catching or sensational headlines that are divisive and misleading, also known as clickbait.
Discussion questions:
  1. Essential question: What role does technology play in how people consume the news?
  2. What does it mean to be partisan? What does it mean to be hyperpartisan?
  3. What do you think a scientist would have to say about the current debate over junk news as described in this series or so-called fake news?
  4. Choose either question: What effects does inflammatory news have on a democratic society? How should the government respond to inflammatory news sites?
  5. Would you take a job spinning facts or creating inflammatory news if it paid a lot of money? Why or why not?
Extension activity:

Check out this lesson on misinformation based on the information of PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs’ youth journalism program. Click here for the full-site.

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