Friday, February 9, 2018

Why Misinformation and Fake News Can Persist

The ability of your mind to clear "discredited" news stories from your "working memory" is affected by education and also age ("Cognitive Ability and Vulnerability to Fake News," Scientific American, February 6, 2018). In addition, individuals displayed a tendency to believe false statements more if they were repeated over time. Links to the research studies that discuss these results are in the above article so you can see the details and judge their conclusions for yourself.

Review selected hard copy/online library books related to fake news and misinformation at LSC-CyFair Branch Library. Click the title of a listed item, select the "Place Hold" button in the listing, and enter your library card number and PIN for each title you want to request for pick up at the library.

Use these subject words and phrases to find more information in the library catalog:
  • attribution of news
  • communication in politics
  • fake news
  • internet research handbooks
  • journalism corrupt practices
  • mass media political
  • mass media public opinion
  • politics and culture
  • research handbooks
Harper, 2017
call number: 070.4 Att

"Behind most major political stories in the modern era, there is an agenda; an effort by opposition researchers, spin doctors, and outside interests to destroy an idea or a person. The tactic they use is the Smear. Every day, Americans are influenced by the Smear without knowing it. Paid forces cleverly shape virtually every image you cross. . . The trick of the Smear is that it is often based on some shred of truth, but these media-driven "hit pieces" are designed to obscure the truth. Success hinges on the Smear artist's ability to remain invisible; to make it seem as if their work is neither calculated nor scripted. It must appear to be precisely what it is not." - publisher's summary excerpt

University of Chicago Press, 2016
call number: 001.42 Bor

"An accessible, one-stop guide to the why, what, and how of contemporary fact-checking, Borel, an experienced fact-checker, draws on the expertise of more than 200 writers, editors, and fellow checkers." - publisher's summary excerpt

The Truth Matters: A Citizen's Guide to Separating Facts from Lies and Stopping Fake News in Its Tracks by Bruce Bartlett
Ten Speed Press, 2017
call number: in processing

"Today's media and political landscapes are littered with untrustworthy sources and the dangerous concept of  'fake news.' This accessible guide helps you fight this deeply troubling trend and ensure that truth is not a permanent casualty. Written by Bruce Bartlett, a former Senior Policy Analyst in the Reagan administration and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy at the Treasury Department in the Bush 41 White House, this book presents actionable tips and tricks for reading critically, judging sources, using fact-checking sites, avoiding confirmation bias, identifying trustworthy experts, and more." - publisher's summary excerpt

News Literacy: Helping Students and Teachers Decode Fake News by Robert W. Janke and Bruce S. Cooper
Rowman and Littlefield, 2017
call number: in processing

"Our society faces international challenges from cyber attacks and dissemination of fake news with a goal to destabilize our society. Fake news can be used as a weapon with destructive effects as powerful as any military attack. Fake news can spread as fast as a wildfire carried on the winds of social media. Students and all citizens need to be prepared and informed of ways to quickly understand and distinguish real and fake news." - publisher's summary excerpt


Monday, January 15, 2018

Drug-Related Crime Surges in Mexico

Drug cartel violence plagues several areas in Mexico causing an unprecedented homicide rate. Visitors are warned to avoid these parts of the country due to warring gangs ("Why the State Department Said These 5 Mexican States Were Unsafe for Travel," Los Angeles Times, January 11, 2018).

Review selected hard copy/online library books related to drug wars in Mexico at LSC-CyFair Branch Library. Click the title of a listed item, select the "Place Hold" button in the listing, and enter your library card number and PIN for each title you want to request for pick up at the library.

Use these subject words and phrases to find more information in the library catalog:
  • assassins Mexico
  • cartels Mexico
  • drug dealers Mexico
  • drug traffic Mexico
  • drugs Mexico
  • fugitives from justice Mexico
  • narco-terrorism Mexico
  • organized crime Mexico
Confessions of a Cartel Hit Man by Martin Corona with Tony Rafael
Dutton, 2017
call number: 364.152 Cor

"The true confession of an assassin, a sicario, who rose through the ranks of the southern California gang world to become the leader of an elite, cruelly efficient crew of hit men for Mexico's 'most vicious drug cartel,' and eventually found a way out." - publisher's summary excerpt

Wolf Boys: Two American Teenagers and Mexico's Most Dangerous Drug Cartel by Dan Slater
Simon and Schuster, 2016
call number: 364.106 Sla

"The story of two American teens recruited as killers for a Mexican cartel, and their pursuit by a Mexican-American detective who realizes the War on Drugs is unwinnable." - publisher's summary excerpt
Cartel Land by Matthew Heineman
Paramount Home Video, 2016
call number: 363.45 Car (nonfiction DVD)

"In the Mexican state of Michoacán Dr. José Mireles, a small-town physician known as "El Doctor," leads the Autodefensas, a citizen uprising against the violent Knights Templar drug cartel. Meanwhile, in Arizona's Altar Valley, Tim "Nailer" Foley, an American veteran, heads a small paramilitary group called Arizona Border Recon, whose goal is to stop Mexico's drug wars from seeping across our border." - studio summary


Tuesday, November 7, 2017

A Nation Under Siege Due to Mass Shootings

University of Alabama criminology professor Adam Lankford's international research on gun ownership comes to the conclusion that "the only variable that can explain the high rate of mass shootings in America is its astronomical number of guns" ("What Explains U.S. Mass Shootings? International Comparisons Suggest an Answer," The New York Times, November 7, 2017).

Review selected hard copy/online library books related to mass shootings at LSC-CyFair Branch Library. Click the title of a listed item, select the "Place Hold" button in the listing, and enter your library card number and PIN for each title you want to request for pick up at the library.

Use these subject words and phrases to find more information in the library catalog:
  • firearms crime
  • firearms law
  • firearms ownership
  • gun control
  • mass murder
  • violent crimes
ABC-CLIO, 2017
call number: 363.33 Car

This title "provides a balanced view of the contemporary gun debate in the United States, explaining the positions of both gun rights proponents and advocates of stricter gun control without demonizing either and . . . presents current and historical data on U.S. gun violence--including homicides, suicides, and accidental shoots--and places these numbers against international statistics on gun violence, thereby providing the context to enable readers to reach their own opinion on the gun debate." - publisher's summary excerpt

Mass Shootings: Media, Myths, and Realities by H. Jaymi Elsass and Jaclyn Schildkraut
Praeger, 2016
call number: 364.152 Sch

"This book provides readers and researchers with a critical examination of mass shootings. . .
* Tackles common misconceptions about mass shootings perpetrated by and through the media and provides information that grounds the realities of such events in empirical evidence
* Explores the history of mass shootings, both before and after the infamous 1999 Columbine High School event and shootings that occurred in and out of schools
* Addresses common myths associated with mass shooting events by the media, such as how often and where they occur and the absence of any warning signs
* Helps readers understand the realities of these events, including their international reach, the potential warning signs, and how evidence associated with the events can provide clues into why they occurred" - publisher's summary excerpt

Prometheus, 2016
call number: 363.33 Kla

"In the past decade, no individual act of violence has killed more people in the United States than the mass shooting. . . Why do people go on killing sprees? Are gun-free zones magnets for deadly rampages? What can we do to curb the carnage of this disturbing form of firearm violence? Contrary to conventional wisdom, the author shows that gun possession often prods aggrieved, mentally unstable individuals to go on shooting sprees; these attacks largely occur in places where guns are not prohibited by law; and sensible gun control measures like the federal assault weapons ban-which helped drastically reduce rampage violence when it was in effect-are instrumental to keeping Americans safe from mass shootings in the future. To stem gun massacres, the author proposes several original policy prescriptions, including a high-capacity magazine ban and buy-back program, the establishment of multi-jurisdictional task forces to assess active shooter threats, and an overhaul of the way the justice system investigates and prosecutes violent crimes." - publisher's summary excerpt