Fake News: Is it Real?

How do we determine what news is “Real”—and what news is “Fake”?

Where do we turn today for news that we can trust? How is technology changing the way we consume information? Join Connecticut Humanities in a year-long exploration about why people are becoming increasingly distrustful of the news media—and how we can all become more confident consumers of information.

About the Program

Journalism is critical to a healthy democracy. For citizens to make informed decisions they need reliable news and information. Journalism plays an integral role in this process by improving knowledge, helping build consensus, and holding government officials accountable. But is traditional journalism still relevant in today’s era of “Fake News”?

In 2018, Connecticut Humanities (CTH) will help facilitate a statewide exploration about why people are distrustful of news, how technology is changing information consumption, and how citizens can better evaluate news sources. Our goal: to engage and inform Connecticut’s citizens about the essential role journalism plays in helping us understand our world.

The initiative includes:

  • A moderated panel discussion with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists.
  • Community college student-created video shorts created by Capital Community College and Middlesex Community College students.
  • Discussion and workshop sessions for teachers at the 2018 Northeast Regional Conference for the Social Studies.
  • A themed issue of Connecticut Explored Magazine (Winter 2019).
  • Small project grants to encourage Connecticut cultural organizations to continue the discussion in their own communities (see more information on grants below).

Thanks & Appreciation

Connecticut Humanities thanks Capital Community CollegeMiddlesex Community College, the Connecticut State Department of Education, and Connecticut Explored Magazine for partnering with us on this important project.

This program is part of the “Democracy and the Informed Citizen” initiative, administered by the Federation of State Humanities Councils. The initiative seeks to deepen the public’s knowledge and appreciation of the vital connections between democracy, the humanities, journalism, and an informed citizenry.

We thank The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for their generous support of this initiative and the Pulitzer Prizes for their partnership.

Program Events

New Exhibit at Westport Museum for History and Culture: Becoming Westport
October 4 @ 11:00 am - June 30, 2020 @ 6:00 pm | Westport Museum of History and Culture
Pieces of American History: Connecticut Quilts
December 7 @ 9:00 am - December 7 @ 5:00 pm | Connecticut Historical Society Museum
War, Maps, Mystery: Dutch Mapmaker Bernard Romans and the American Revolution
December 7 @ 9:00 am - December 7 @ 5:00 pm | Connecticut Historical Society Museum
Noah and the Nutcracker
December 7 @ 10:00 am - December 7 @ 1:00 pm | Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society
Celebrate Three Centuries of Christmas
December 7 @ 10:00 am - December 29 @ 4:00 pm | Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum
Toys, Trains and Magnificent Trees: Illuminating Christmas at the Mansion
December 7 @ 12:00 pm - December 7 @ 4:00 pm | Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum
Pieces of American History: Connecticut Quilts Exhibit Tour
December 7 @ 2:00 pm - December 7 @ 3:00 pm | Connecticut Historical Society
Toys, Trains and Magnificent Trees: Illuminating Christmas at the Mansion
December 8 @ 12:00 pm - December 8 @ 4:00 pm | Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum
A Child’s Christmas in Wales
December 8 @ 2:00 pm - December 8 @ 3:30 pm | Milford Public Library
Exploring the Life of a Woman in Ancient Egypt
December 8 @ 2:00 pm - December 8 @ 3:00 pm | The Barnum Museum


Fake News: Is It Real? Quick Grants are small implementation grants for projects that examine the issue of fake news, either currently or historically, and contextualize its lasting impact on our state.

These grants can be used to support a wide range of community-oriented programs that explore the issue of fake news including, but not limited to:

  • The events and issues that led to the current explosion of fake news in circulation.
  • The outcomes, both intended and unintended, of the spread of fake news.
  • The ways in which community-oriented groups can help people identify fake news and propaganda.
  • As a vehicle to discuss issues relating to civil discourse; civics; critical thinking; voting rights; and privacy.
  • As a vehicle to look at Connecticut in terms of changing demographics, town life, and people and places related to these issues.

Awards may not exceed $3,000 and funded activities must be completed within six (6) months of project start date.

Applications are due to CTH by 11:59 PM on June 1, July 6 and September 7. Award notifications are made approximately one month following a deadline.

Before applying, review Fake News Grant Guidelines here. Also, before applying, please contact CTH staff member Scott Wands (swands@cthumanities.org), to discuss your project idea. Applications submitted without prior communication with CTH staff will not be considered.


CTH and its project partners have compiled a list of resources helpful for anyone who wants to learn how to identify fake news or review the issue in more depth. The list also includes curriculum links for interested teachers.

What Can You Do About Fake News? Here are some steps and resources to get you started.

Learn to recognize it:

Don’t share without verifying:

When in doubt, check it out:

Get your information from more than one source:

Support your local paper & demand local news from it.

Accept that you are part of the problem (It’s okay – we all are.)

Inoculate yourself:

Teach your children well (more resources for educators):

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