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Theology and Religious Studies: In the News

General Guide to Searching for News

For a general guide to News and News Sources, take a look at the Newspaper Sources Home Page.

 

Fake News and how to spot it

Evaluating sources of information is important with any research, and especially with the growing presence of fabricated or manipulated news. 

When you approach a news story:

  • Take the time to investigate the source of the story, including the site publishing the story, its mission, and background information.
  • Investigate the author. Are they a real person? Are they a credible author?
  • Check the date. Old news stories are often shared in conjunction with current events, but aren't relevant.
  • Read beyond the headlines (and make sure there's more there beyond the headlines).
  • Look for cited sources. If a story links to supporting sources, follow those links.
  • Could it be a joke? Sometimes things are too outlandish to be real and are, in fact, satire. 
  • Check biases. Can you see the author's bias or prejudices coming through in the story? How does that change how you interpret the story? Are your own biases affecting how you interpret a news story?
  • Ask an expert. Ask a librarian or a fact-checking web site.

For more information on Fake News and more tips on spotting it and navigating this complex landscape, check out the News, Spin, and Fake News research guide.