About 40 people came to the Tallahassee Democrat’s meeting and training space on Feb. 16 to participate in an engaging (and sometimes raucous) Fake News Game Show. Ryan Dailey, SPJ Florida’s vice president of membership and the Democrat’s former K-12 education reporter, served as a first-time game show host for the night.
The FNGS event was the first of its kind in the Capital City, and it was well-received in the midst of the 2018 legislative session. It drew a number of people who attend or work at the local colleges like Florida State University, and the age range of participants showed an impressive mix of college-age to retirees.
A story that ran in the Tallahassee Democrat the week of the event was valuable in boosting attendance.
“Shaking hands with people on the way out, we got rave reviews. A few people asked if we would be hosting games in the future, which I think is a great sign,” Dailey said.
A four-person team, The Newsies, won the grand prize of a $10 Starbucks gift card each. The Newsies got a perfect score during the game’s first round, giving them the edge through a slightly trickier second round to win with a two-point margin.
“There was some pretty stiff competition, even a three-team tie for second place between the Surrealists, RussTech, and the Giggolo Joes, which was a team of all journalists, if you can believe it,” Dailey said. “But I must say, my favorite team name of the night was probably Feaux Gnus.”
Throughout the course of the FNGS, those in attendance began to key in on elements of the stories displayed – none of them written or altered by SPJ and all ran somewhere on the internet – to inform their answers. They were looking at bylines, datelines and taking not of photos that may be Photoshopped.
No doubt, the experience gave some of the avid consumers of news that showed up a keener eye for spotting the fake and fabricated.
Team score board:
1 – The Newsies, 11 points
2 – Surrealists, RussTech and Giggolo Joes – 9 points (three-way tie)
3 – Peanut, 8 points
4 – Dalek, Ministry of Truth and Maid Marian, 7 points (three-way tie)
5 – Feaux Gnus – 6 points
Want to host a Fake News Game Show in your community? Email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how!