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Evaluating News: "Fake News" and Beyond: Evaluating News

Evaluating News

Not all news sources are created equal. Some sources masquerade as news, but are actually entertainment sites that are raking in money based on the number of clicks they can drive in (clickbait). Other sources might actually be sharing news, but with such a biased perspective that the information the end user receives is distorted, far from the real truth.

It is your duty, as a researcher and a news consumer, to evaluate every source that you encounter with a discerning eye. The following guidelines (from Cornell University’s “Evaluating News Sources” Guide) will help you make educated decisions about what news to trust and what to avoid:

Be skeptical of any news that comes to you through social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, and web searches. Social media algorithms work to present the news that reinforces your current views, not a balanced view. To echo, not inform.

Independently verify the source (by performing a separate search) and independently verify the information (through more mainstream news sources or fact-checking sites).

Select news sources known for high-quality, investigative reporting. Search these sources directly. Don't settle for web search results or social media news feeds.


Adapted from "Be an Active News User: How to Be Media Literate" by Cornell University Library

Fact Checking Sites

Evaluating a News Article

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