Only one in 50 children can spot fake news - here's a guide on how to identify it

Can you spot fake news?
Can you spot fake news?

Only one in 50 children can spot fake news stories, it has been revealed.

The National Literacy Trust found that when 2,200 pupils aged eight to 16 took a fake news quiz, only a handful were able to spot all the fabricated stories.

News expert Dr Lisette Johnston, an ex BBC World News boss and now Head of School at ScreenSpace, has given some top tips on identifying when we’re being fed fake news.

Here are her six top tips

Check the source

Look at the publication or site and look at its other stories – try to think critically, consider whether there is any otherquestionable content.

Check the date

Sometimes a story from years ago can be re run to give the impression of ‘new’ news.

Do your own research

Check whether the story has been run on other sites, if so, how is the story presented?

Read beyond the headline

Some publications and websites use sensational headlines as a way to encourage you to ‘click’ on the story, this is called ‘click bait’. Sometimes the actual story bears no resemblance to its headline.

Research the writer

If the article has a writer’s byline - Google them to see what other articles they’ve written.

Check the facts

There are some great fact-checking websites such as: and to use when you’re really not sure about a story, whether it’s a statement from MPs or a piece from other organisations.

But, you can also ask yourself these three questions:

* Can the statement be proved or demonstrated to be true?

* Can the statement be observed in practice or operation?

* Can the statement by verified by witnesses, manuscripts, or documents?