The coronavirus pandemic is keeping people glued to the news more than ever before: But what news can you trust? I went to the experts to find out.
Since the first COVID-19 case in New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo has been providing daily briefings — updates that include charts, graphs, and lots of numbers.
"Facts are facts and the facts we offer the people of this state and the people of this country, they're not pessimistic facts they are not interpretive facts, they are just the best information we have as of this time," Cuomo said.
Experts, like National Center for Security and Preparedness Director Jayson Kratoville at the University at Albany, say this is a good strategy for public officials during any crisis.
"I think the biggest challenge is getting out good information," he said. "When you're talking about disinformation or bad information or fake news, the best remedy to it is good information."
But what if you're a news consumer and you don't know what to believe? Investigative journalist Rosemary Armao acknowledges it can be a problem.
"There can be enough truth in it that you say, 'oh, this must be right,' " she said. "And suddenly you realize, you're not."
There are some strategies for discerning real news from fake news: Does the article have multiple sources? Is it replicated in other news outlets? Is someone quoted in it?
"You can even go on your social media and say 'I read this story; is this true?' Or 'this is such a great story; could it really be true?' " Armao said. "You're right to ask those questions, because it's probably not."
Hoaxes and fake news, of course, aren't new. But during a pandemic, wrong information could be deadly.
"World War II had victory gardens and scrap metal drives. COVID-19 has distancing, it has hygiene. But it also has to be responsible with the information you're consuming," Kratoville said.
Kratoville says consumers should check official government websites and, of course, be careful what they're sharing on social media.
"If you're going to spread it, make sure you dive into a little bit, vet those sources, especially government sources, to make sure that information is correct," Kratoville said.
And in a sign the media is playing a key role in all this, journalists were deemed essential workers by state officials during the crisis.