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5 Steps to be a Better Consumer of News

Consider the Source:

  • Look at web address (URL). The domain name end can provide valuable information: .com .gov .edu .org 

  • Beware of web addresses that mimic existing respected sites: vs. 

  • Check to see if there is an “About Us” page.

    • Is there a stated purpose for the website?

    • Is there information provided about the creators?

    • When in doubt use Google to find information about the website. 

  • Is there a “Contact Us” page?

    • Is there a contact form or an appropriate email address? 

Check Credentials:

  • Is there an author listed in the byline?

  • Is the news article labeled opinion?

  • Does the author information seem legitimate?

  • Use Google to get addition information about the author. 

Look for Supporting Sources: 

  • Can the news be confirmed by other sources? 

  • Does the article have links? Are the links from legitimate 

  • Does the article contain quotes? Do they confirm the stated 

  • Quotes may be fabricated, if they seem farfetched use Google 
to verify. 

Check the Date:

  • Is there a date that indicates when the article was published?
  • Are the links in the article up to date? 

Consider the Purpose:

  • Does the article seem to have particular point of view or bias? 

  • Is the article a paid advertisement? 

  • Is the article using all caps or excessive punctuation to grab 
your attention? 

  • Is there an outrageous headline? 

Additional Reading: How to Spot Fake News

GCF Learnfree: What is Fake News

Indiana University East Libguides: Fake News


Resources to Identify Fake News

A nonpartisan, nonprofit “consumer advocate” for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics. 


Mostly aimed at journalists, this site provides valuable verification resources, fake news quizzes, and more. 


A resource for checking the veracity of email and social media messages, phone and chain letters scams, and more. 


A not-for-profit, non-partisan news site that publishes the latest international media ethics news and investigations into ethical lapses.

A comprehensive resource for tracking money in politics, such as federal campaign contributions, lobbying data and more. 


A fact-checking website that rates the accuracy of claims by elected officials and others who speak up in American politics. 


A site devoted to fact-checking pundits. 


A searchable database of fake, satire, and biased news websites.


A popular fact-checking resource for myths, rumors, misinformation and urban legends. 


The website covers a wide variety of topics (hoaxes, e-rumors, and more,) and answers “truth or fiction” questions emailed to 

Urban Legends

The site debunks urban legends and folklore on the web: Internet hoaxes, rumors, and myths. 

Use Reverse Image Searching to Verify Authenticity of Images

Give it an image and it will tell you where the image appears on the web:

Google Image Searching

TinEye Reverse Image Search

Get Familiar with Satirical Sites

Satire websites are sites that make fun of the news. The stories are typically over the top and meant to be funny. 

The Borowitz Report

The Onion

The Daily Currant

The Gomer Blog


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