Face the Facts

Young fact-checkers explain how to discern info online


PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs, in partnership with the Poynter Institute's MediaWise, hosted “Face the Facts: Election 2020 Youth Town Hall.” The virtual event engaged students and first-time voters to be prepared and better informed ahead of the November elections.

Watch the video below with students and then answer the discussion questions to learn how teen fact-checkers sift through a sea of misinformation to find trusted sources.


First, have your students identify the 5Ws and an H:

  • Who is offering insights on misinformation in this segment and what are their backgrounds?
  • What are some types of misinformation common online?
  • When and where are people exposed to misinformation, according to the three students reporters in the segment?
  • Why do fact checkers and journalists have a hard time keeping up with misinformation online?
  • How can you assess whether information is likely false or misleading, according to the student reporters in the segment?


  • What tools for assessing misinformation did you find particularly helpful?
  • Have you ever tried to determine the reliability of memes or social media posts before? If so, what method did you use?
  • Have you ever used a reverse image search or lateral reading to try and determine the reliability of a meme, post or article?
  • How would you determine the objective or bias of an information source if you wanted to test its credibility?

***Questions were written by SRL’s sister site, PBS NewsHour Extra***


More from Face the Facts:

Writing - Research to Build and Present Knowledge

Speaking and Listening - Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas

Empowered Learner

Students leverage technology to take an active role in choosing, achieving, and demonstrating competency in their learning goals, informed by the learning sciences. (ISTE)

Digital Citizenship

Students recognize the rights, responsibilities and opportunities of living, learning and working in an interconnected digital world, and they act and model in ways that are safe, legal and ethical. (ISTE)

Analyze the legal and ethical responsibilities required in the arts, audio/visual technology and communications workplace.

Civic and Political Institutions

In order to act responsibly and effectively, citizens must understand the important institutions of their society and the principles that these institutions are intended to reflect. That requires mastery of a body of knowledge about law, politics, and government. (NCSS D2.Civ.1.9-12 - D2.Civ.6.9-12)

Gathering and Evaluating Sources

Whether students are constructing opinions, explanation, or arguments, they will gather information from a variety of sources and evaluate the relevance of that information. (NCSS D3.1.9-12 - D3.2.9-12)

Speaking and Listening - Comprehension and Collaboration





Media Literacy

Digital Literacy/Citizenship








Estimated Time

30 Minutes