Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

ENC 1101 (Pridemore) - Fake News and Research: Is It Fake?

This is a guide for students doing research in Professor Pridemore's Comp I class on Osceola Campus.

How to Spot Fake News

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/32/How_to_Spot_Fake_News.jpg/360px-How_to_Spot_Fake_News.jpg

Suggested Steps

Open another window or two and start googling.

  • Google the organization and find out who they are and whether they are highly regarded. Look for bias, controversies, and awards.
  • Google the author.

Quick look at the article.

  • Look for a date of publication. It is not uncommon for old articles to be presented as breaking news.
  • Consider whether your own biases are influencing you. For example, if you dislike a particular political figure you are predisposed to believe negative stories about that person and discount positive ones.

Deeper look at the article.

  • Does the headline truly reflect the story? Is it sensationalized?
  • What evidence does the article present to support its argument?

Consider a fact-checking site.

Tips For Identifying Fake News

Michigan State's Quick Check

  1. Check the website name and domain.  Fake sites often have a .co in the domain, ex. http://abcnews.com.co/
  2. Spelling & Grammar.  Are there multiple errors or does it look professionally edited?
  3. Author Attribution: Is an author listed? Are there links to their profile and credentials? Anonymous articles generally should be avoided.
  4. Emotional Manipulation: Do you feel emotions by simply reading the headline?

Michigan State's Critical Thinking Check

  1. Statement of Ethics - Most reputable news sites have a Statement of Ethics.  View the New York Times Statement here
  2. Corrections - Again, reputable sites have a Corrections section or policy.  See USA Today's Corrections.
  3. Named Sources, Studies etc. - Does the article name a source or study for its information?
  4. Identify Editorials vs News - Reputable news sources clearly identify editorials, which as we know are just someone's opinion.
  5. Check A Reporter's Body of Work - Does the reporter have a large body of work? Do they generally cover the same topic(s), or do the topics seem to be random or erratic?
  6. Verify Information Using Multiple Sources: This is a good habit for all research.  Make sure you can find more than one reputable source reporting the same information.

 

News Outlet Bias

Image result for news sources bias chart