How to tell fake news from real news
Want to strengthen your own ability to tell real news from fake news? Start by asking these five questions of any news item:
Who wrote it?
identify whether the item you’re reading is a reported news article (written by a journalist with the intent to inform), a persuasive opinion piece (written by an industry expert with a point of view), or something else entirely.
What claims does it make? Real news — like these Pulitzer Prize winning articles — will include multiple primary sources when discussing a controversial claim. Fake news may include fake sources, false urls, and/or “alternative facts”
Where was it published? Real news is published by trustworthy media outlets with a strong factchecking record, such as the BBC, NPR, ProPublica, Mother Jones, and Wired. (To learn more about any media outlet, look at their About page and examine their published body of work.) If you get your news primarily via social media, try to verify that the information is accurate before you share it. (On Twitter, for example, you might look for the blue “verified” checkmark next to a media outlet name to doublecheck a publication source before sharing a link.)
How does it make you feel? Fake news, like all propaganda, is designed to make you feel strong emotions. So if you read a news item that makes you feel super angry, pause and take a deep breath.
more on fake news in this IMS blog