Where’d You Hear That?

How to get reliable news.


With politics as divisive as they are right now, separating fact from fiction has become more difficult, but also more important. In the mass quantity of information and viewpoints that the internet allows to be shared, fake news has become a political weapon that people often do not know they are encountering. Here are some indicators that a news article may be misinforming you. Double, Triple Check Before you let a shared article on Facebook freak you out, do your own research. Find out if the source is credible and see if sources you know to be reputable have written anything on the subject. If the article is summarizing information taken from another article, go to the first article and give that a read. It’s easy to spin something that was once trustworthy into liberal or conservative garbage. Another way to verify information is to look at fact checking websites. Some great options include Politifact, Snopes, and Washington Post’s Fact Checker. The Company Behind the Curtain Because bias is not always easy to pinpoint, finding out who the news source is affiliated with can be illuminating. There may be political or economic reasons for the stance of an article. FOX News, for example, is owned by News Corp which is owned by Rupert Murdoch; a conservative who backed Trump for the presidency. Looking at the values of a corporation and its owner will help you to determine which stance a news source is taking and why. Visit freepress.net to learn more about the ownership of news outlets. Look for Evidence Political articles, interviews, scientific articles, most if not all types of articles should have quotes. If the only viewpoint in the issue is the one that the the writer is presenting, there’s a problem. If there are quotes, pay attention to the contributor. Sources should be experts in their field, or those who witnessed an event first-hand. When the author uses quotes or statistics, is there a source cited? Without evidence, an article is just speculation. When and I If you see an “I” followed by “think” or any variation of the word in a political article, click off right away. When an author injects their opinion into an article, their political, social, or economic leanings are revealed. You want your news to be without bias so that you can form your own opinions and pick your own side of an issue. Articles should provide equal evidence on both perspectives of the incident in question to be unbiased. Another thing to look for is when the article was published. You want to read articles that were published soon after the event in question or articles with extensive research that were published a little after the first wave of articles. With the passage of time comes the opportunity to spin information or for witnesses and experts to forget what happened.