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Fake News, Misinformation and Propaganda: Evaluation

This guide provides quick access to relevant resources on Fake News, Misinformation & Propaganda.

Evaluating News Sources

It is very important that all your sources are credible and accurate. When evaluating news sources, we should look for bias, untruths, and exaggerated claims. Below are strategies that will help you identify the good, the bad, and the ugly news sources.

How to Choose Your News

Brown, D. (2014, June 5). How to choose your news [Video]. YouTube. https://youtu.be/q-Y-z6HmRgI

Strategies for Evaluating News Sites

Investigate the Source

Look at the name of the site. Does it look like the page of a professional, reputable, news organization? Check the "About Us" page. What do other sites have to say about the site in question? 

Pay Attention to the URL 

A number of sites use URLs that attempt to appear like well known news organizations. But upon closer examination, you can see slight anomalies. Search for the real site.

Does the Site "Cherry-pick" Facts?

Does the site ignore facts that don't support their favored position? Reputable news sites present reliable information on multiple perspectives.

Fact v. Opinion 

Does the site make a clear distinction between stories based on verifiable fact and opinion-based editorials? 

Are there a lot of Pop-up and Banner Ads?

This could indicate that the site is really just a home for clickbait.

Who is Providing the Information and Why?

Who is responsible for the site? Why does the site exist? Is it clickbait to provide income for the site?

Verify 

Are sources for the story listed in the article? Can you find other, reputable sources covering the story?

Is the Story Designed to Excite You?

Journalists usually do not make a call to action when writing an article. In a professional news story you are given the facts. (Western Michigan University, 2017)