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Research

Subject-specific online resources, recommended websites and more.

Fake News and Misinformation

The term “Fake News” covers misinformation, disinformation, inaccurate reporting, satire and just plain made-up stories. Here are tips and resources to help you recognize it in newspapers, TV and social media.

IDENTIFYING FAKE NEWS

GETTING CONTEXT ON ISSUES

  • CQ Researcher
    This resource provides background for reporters — and you! In-depth coverage and analysis of current events with “Pro/Con” articles written and checked by experts. Shorter "Hot Topics" articles provide updates to the most popular subjects.
  • AllSides.com
    AllSides displays left, right and center coverage of top news stories side-by-side for perspective. They provide media bias ratings for over 800 media outlets and writers, using transparent scientific methods. Viewers can even join in civic dialog about the issues via AllSides Connect.

FACT-CHECKING WEBSITES

How To Spot Fake News

Here are eight simple steps you can take to help determine the accuracy of a particular news item. From the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) "How to Spot Fake News" infographic.

  • Consider the Source
    Click away from the story to investigate the site, its mission and its contact info.
  • Read Beyond
    Headlines can be outrageous in an effort to get clicks. What's the whole story?
  • Check the Author
    Do a quick search on the author. Are they credible? Are they real?
  • Supporting Sources?
    Click on those links. Determine if the info given actually supports the story.
  • Check the Date
    Reposting old news stories doesn't mean they're relevant to current events.
  • Is it a Joke?
    If it is too outlandish, it might be satire. Research the site and author to be sure.
  • Check Your Biases
    Consider if your own beliefs could affect your judgement.
  • Ask the Experts
    Ask a librarian, or consult a fact-checking site.
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