Jan. 25, 2024  

Fake News, Smart People

We seek news-novice audiences. Any ideas?

By Michael Koretzky


SPJ’s Fake News Game Show has a Jeopardy! problem.

Most Jeopardy! viewers are smart. They’re probably not also watching MILF Manor. When we created the Fake News Game Show seven years ago, the idea was to educate the nation about the difference between ethical journalism and sinister manipulation.

But we keep getting requests from groups that already know the difference. In January, three current and former Society for Professional Journalism board members visited the clubhouse at Valencia Isles in Boynton Beach, where we were invited to host a Fake News Game Show for 50 residents of the retirement community.

“A nice crowd of smart snowbirds,” was how SPJ’s Chris Persaud described them. “They got most of the questions right.”

Persaud joined Wesley Wright (pictured above addressing the crowd) and Christiana Lilly to host several rounds of slides that displayed news stories from both reputable and evil sources. But they didn’t say which was which. Participants had to make educated guesses. Winners got a new car! No, they got nothing but the knowledge they’re smarter than the average person.

“I think the crowds we’ve attracted tend to be interested in news, so they are sharper than many people out there who share fake info without thinking,” Persaud says. “I wonder where we can hold the next contest to attract regular people? I bet they would be real surprised about how easily they can be deceived.”

If you think you can be easily deceived, let’s talk. We’ll bring the Fake News Game Show to you. And we’ll bring you prizes, too. Gift certificates, not cars. Email us.