Finding and Evaluating News: Home

Introduction

If you're getting your news from a web search, or receiving it through a social media feed (from a news source you don't already know and trust) be extra cautious. 

It may well be legitimate, but it could also be content generated by non-news organizations in order to drive eyeballs to ads or to spread untrue information to sway opinion. Many of these so-called "fake" news sites are disguised to resemble news publications and news networks we are already familiar with.

Scroll through these examples of fake news sites pulled together by CBS News.

See also: Spotting Fake News from FactCheck.org

What to watch out for:

1.  Websites created to look like familiar mainstream news sites, e.g. "Boston Tribune."

  • Look for contact information with a verifiable address.
  • Look for an About page, often in the header or footer of the home page. Read the About page closely for evidence of partisanship or bias.  If there's no About page and no Contact page, be very skeptical.
  • In staff listings (or on the About page), look critically at the list of executives. Are they real people or stock photos? Open a new tab and look for another profile of the individual (e.g. LinkedIn).
  • Perform an independent search for the news source. Compare urls.

Example: http://abcnews.com.co/ is not the ABC Network News http://abcnews.go.com, but the logo and the url are almost identical.

2.  Advertisements designed to look like news stories: "native advertising".

3. Satirical news (e.g. The Onion) .

 

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