Read + Review, Teen Reviews

Read + Review: True or False: A CIA Analyst’s Guide to Spotting Fake News by Cindy L. Otis

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You can reserve a print copy here or an eBook copy here.

Fact-checking is perhaps one of the most important fields in our current era of evolving information and communication. Breaking news and shocking events are streaming into our electronic devices constantly, leaving us with heaps of information to process. This book proves as an effective shield to arm yourself against fake news and take in the truth instead from professional journalists. It provides an in-depth analysis of the media and the clever schemes they organize, straight from the experiences of an intelligence analyst from the CIA. Examples upon examples throughout human history about fake news are provided, and different techniques to identify fake news are clearly explained. By the end of the book, readers will have developed a sense of awareness regarding fake news and its persuasive effect on human perception.

I deeply enjoyed the style of this book and its enlightening nature. The author designed the book in a way that anyone from any background could understand, and provided examples that encompassed many different areas of our daily lives. One fantastic thing about the book was that it was written by a CIA Intelligence Analyst, who has had many years of invaluable experience in her field. The pictures and diagrams provided in order to breakdown fake news were informative, and the book would have been confusing without them. Although there were a few grammar issues towards the end, it was a good read because it supplied me with the tools necessary to interpret the difference between fake and real news.

Something that immediately struck out to me was the lack of awareness I had of fake news and the sheer number of times I let it go unnoticed. The book acted as an illuminating journey, showing me my own biases in daily life and how they subconsciously affected the type of news I took in. For example, I have never observed my politically-leaning status prior to reading this book.

Reviewed by Arnav K, Glen Allen Library

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