Fact-Checking the News and Social Media


Fact-Checking the News (Print, Electronic, Television/Radio) and Social Media Stories/Rumors (Email, Internet, Facebook, Twitter, etc.)

 

We want a free press that is also accountable for publishing the truth and facts they have verified (rather than just opinions and bald-faced lies) in a sea of fake news and political commentary washing over journalism and social media. Below are links to some respected sites in journalism where you can check news articles and television/radio commentary for responsible journalism; you can also check email/internet/social media stories and claims for truth.

The Bottom Line: Don’t believe everything you read and hear or even see as absolutely true–from anyone; don’t believe something just because you’ve “always heard that” or you’ve “always been told that.” Know the difference between a story and satire. Satire is a deliberately humorous and skewed take to make a point—these pieces can be wonderful nuggets of truth underneath the humor and take sophistication on the part of the reader. In short, to ferret out actual fake news and rumors, be skeptical: check the publisher (is it a politically slanted publication?); check the writer’s credibility (he/she should provide at least a brief bio; if not, look up the writer); check the writer’s sources (does he/she provide them? Are they credible?); if someone tells you an alleged story or rumor, check the individual’s credibility: where did this person hear or read it?

Fight back against the fake news industry and sometimes irresponsible media outlets by holding them accountable. And, of course, be responsible in your own writing or claims you pass on to others. Warning: If a media outlet, journalist, politician, or other venue/individual persists in spreading fake news/rumors, refuses to fact check, denies facts and the truth when presented to them, deflects, and returns to persisting the lie is the truth, these individuals may have an agenda, and it may also be personal or political propaganda designed to fulfill that agenda, which you must be ready to call out with facts you have researched from credible sources. If we all work hard at this, we can help the Press be the accountable force for truth most journalists sincerely wish to be–and we all need.  Fact Check.

http://www.politifact.com/ [this site won the Pulitzer for journalism]

http://www.factcheck.org/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/?utm_term=.a585e32f1dd5

http://www.snopes.com/ [this one for checking out email and internet ‘rumors’ etc.]

 

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