How do I know which news is true (Dagbani)
Josephine Oh, hello! Myriam! Annette!
Myriam Josephine, Hi. I see you decided to come sell your vegetables at the market.
Josephine Yes, I was nervous about it. But I am feeling ok so long as the customers stay on the other side of this big table and a good distance from each other - like you two are now. Annette, how are you feeling about the pregnancy?
Annette Well, I was feeling okay. But then yesterday, my friend showed me a news story about a woman who gave birth to a goat! Now I am feeling so scared! What if I give birth to an animal?
Myriam Tsk tsk, oh Annette, where did you see this supposed “news story”?
Annette My friend showed it to me on her WhatsApp. It looked just like the other news articles I’ve seen. And there was a picture showing the goat coming out of the woman!
Josephine Who posted the article?
Annette Um… Myriam, you have a smartphone. Search for “Woman gives birth to goat.”
Myriam Ay, Annette… here it is. It says it was written by [insert fictional local name]. It is not a news agency… anyone could have written this!
Annette You mean it is made up? How can they publish something fake that looks like a news article?
Josephine It happens all the time, Annette. Anyone can post things on WhatsApp
Myriam They just copy the look of news articles to fool people into thinking it is real. And photos can be changed too.
Annette Oh now I feel helpless! How can I know whether I am getting real information?
Myriam Look at the source of who wrote it. Is it from a trustworthy news organization? I figure that if something that sounds extraordinary had really happened - like a woman giving birth to a goat, though I really can’t imagine that - I would expect to see it covered by the big news sites. If I don’t see any other coverage, I am very suspicious about it.
Annette (Sighs / exhales) Ok. Next time I will tell my friend to check such details when she shows me a crazy story on WhatsApp
Narrator Question for discussion: What could happen if people believe false information?