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Writing for the Media

How to spot fake news

How to spot fake news


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Consider the source

Click away from the story to learn more about the website, including its stated mission and contact information. For a picture, try a reverse image search to find out where it was originally used, and whether it has been altered.

Read beyond

Beware of outrageous headlines, statements in ALL CAPS, and sensational images designed to get clicks. Read the full story and then investigate further.

Check the author

Do a quick search on the author to find out if they are credible (or even a real person). What is the person's background? What qualifications do they have, and how are they related to the topic they are writing about?

Supporting sources?

Check to make sure the links support the story -- and are credible.

Check the date

Is this an old story? 

Is it a joke?

If the image looks unbelievable or the news sounds too outrageous, it may be satire. Research the site and the author to check.

Check your biases

Consider whether your own beliefs might affect your judgement. 

Ask the experts

Ask a librarian, or visit a fact-checking site.