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News: Finding News and Identifying "Fake" News
This guide features resources and tips to help you find news sources and identify "fake" news.
Media bias charts are media literacy tools that provide insight into a source's bias. As a news consumer, referencing these charts can help you identify varying perspectives based on a source's political bias.
The Ad Fontes Chart uses coordinates to rate both reliability and political bias of news sources. For a small fee, the static chart can be downloaded and used in presentations or for other educational purposes.
AllSides Media Bias Chart uses multipartisan, scientific analysis to rate political bias of media outlets to help readers gain a comprehensive view of the political bias of most used sources in America.
Is it fake?
Use the following steps to determine if a story or claim is “fake” news or disinformation:
Has someone else already fact-checked this story?
Look up the story on a fact-checking site such as Snopes or Politifact
Visit the comments. Another reader may have already debunked the story. Of course, random internet commenters won’t always be right, but they may provide leads for your further investigation.
What do other media outlets have to say about the site where you found the story? An easy way to search for this is by Googling the name or URL of the site followed by –site: and the URL. For example, if you want information about the Wall Street Journal that is not posted on its own website, try Googling Wall Street Journal –site:wsj.com.
Where did the story originate?
Does the story include a link, citation, or details you can use to find the source of the information? Many media outlets syndicate or adapt stories from other places. Get as close as you can to the original source.
What do other sources have to say about the story?
Are other media outlets reporting on this story? Does their information affirm or conflict with what you read?
Checkology offers FREE interactive lessons hosted by journalists and digital media experts to help users critically evaluate information to separate fact-based content from falsehoods. Explore Checkology’s distinctive features such as Word Wall to access a glossary of news literacy terms or the Check Center to practice digital verification skills. Checkology is a great platform for students, educators, and the general public who want to learn, or teach others, how to debunk misinformation.