The creation of fake news continues to generate a lot of discussion and it’s no surprise that post-truth was Oxford English Dictionary’s 2016 Word of the Year. Although many news sources have some inherent bias or political leaning, there are news outlets that are more credible than others.
Verifying news stories (or sites you should get to know)
- FactCheck.org: monitors the accuracy of U.S. political stories.
- PolitiFact: verifies political news stories.
- Snopes: fact-checks Internet rumours and stories. This will determine whether that post your cousin shared on Facebook re: gun violence in America has any merit.
Spotting a fake news story
(adapted from Professor Zimdars’ ‘False, Misleading, Clickbait-y, and/or Satirical “News” Sources’. Refer to Professor Zimdars’ site for a more extensive list).
- Check the domain name. Does it look strange? Those ending unusual domains such as “.com.co” are fake news.
- Refer to the ‘About Us’ area on a website to see what it says, or refer to the websites above for more information on the story or source.
- Read multiple news sources to see how (or if) they are reporting on the same story.
Accessing credible news sources
Refer to the Current and Historical Newspapers guide that provides paywall-free (=free!) access to many national and international newspapers through library databases.
(Source image: IFLA)
- 'Meet the professor who’s trying to help you steer clear of clickbait,' from The Chronicle of Higher Education
- 'Young people aren’t skeptical of fake news,' from Futurity
- 'How fake news goes viral: A case study,' from The New York Times