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Cornell University

Fake News, Propaganda, and Bad Information: Learning to Critically Evaluate Media Sources.

"Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts." --Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Newsweek, 25 August 1986, p. 27.

Four Reliable News Fact-Checking Sites

How to Be Media Literate

Be curious.

  • Independently verify the source (by performing a separate search) and independently verify the information (through more mainstream news sources or fact-checking sites).

Be reflective.

  • If you have an immediate emotional reaction to a news article or source: pause, reflect, investigate. Exciting an emotional reaction is a primary goal of fake news producers. Do not be part of a viral fake news spiral.

Actively investigate your news sources.

  • Select news sources known for high-quality, investigative reporting. Search these sources directly. Don't settle for web search results or social media news feeds. Social media algorithms are designed to present the news that reinforces your current views, not a balanced view.

Look for in-depth coverage.

  • Look for lengthy articles--long-form reporting--that begin to capture some of the complexity of topics and events. One or two paragraphs is not sufficient. Take a look at this article from Slate as an example.
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