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How Do I?

Your resource for the most Frequently Asked Questions.

How to Spot Fake News

Fact-Checking Sites

You can use the sources listed below to fact-check various stories you may have heard on TV or seen online. These sources are listed in alphabetical order by title.

Factcheck.org
A non-partisan fact-checking website. As stated on their mission page: “Our goal is to apply the best practices of both journalism and scholarship, and to increase public knowledge and understanding.”

Media Bias/Fact Check
Type in your favorite (or least favorite!) news source, and they will tell you both the credibility of the source AND the bias.
From their website: “We are the most comprehensive media bias resource on the internet. There are currently 1300+ media sources listed in our database and growing every day. Don’t be fooled by Fake News sources.”

Politifact
This site is run by a team of reporters and editors from independent publication, The Tampa Bay Times. From their  Process page: “PolitiFact checks claims by elected officials, candidates, leaders of political parties and political activists. We examine officials at all levels of government, from county commissioners to U.S. senators, from city council members to the president.”

Snopes.com
Snopes covers everything from pop-culture, to politics, to “urban legends”.
From their FAQ page:
“We don’t expect anyone to accept us as the ultimate authority on any topic…we show our work. The research materials we’ve used in the preparation of any particular page are listed in the bibliography displayed at the bottom of that page so that readers who wish to verify the validity of our information may check those sources for themselves.”

Tips and Tricks

From Public Libraries Online:
“Librarians can continue to grow civic-minded communities by highlighting both local and national government documents. Rather then read editorialized and possibly skewed (maybe fake) news, show your patrons how to get theirs directly from the source by following presidential executive orders, memorandums, and proclamations. Logs like the Congressional Record and the Federal Register help us keep up with congressional activities and proposed rules, final rules and public notices, respectively.”

Hints and Graphics

Read the whole story.
Evaluate the information.
Access respected sources to determine other perspectives -get the whole story!
Link to host-site to identity bias – read the “ABOUT” page, author information, etc.

Identify opinion aspects – is the article an editorial, commentary, satire, or parody?
Navigate to “real news” sources – NPR, BBC, NYT, Washington Post, etc
Fact check using primary sources – CSPAN tapes, white papers, official reports, etc
Observe the currency – track news changes over time!

Provided courtesy of Carol Ann Germain, University at Albany, State University of New York

From IFLA (International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions)