Fighting Fake News: 5 Questions To Ensure Credibility

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The internet is a great tool for doing research BUT it’s important to ensure the credibility of the information.

Pay specific attention to what sites you are visiting and make sure you are using official websites, reputable news agencies, or good academic journals. The strength of your understanding will come from the strength of your information, so make sure you are using reliable, accurate sources.

A reliable or credible source is one that is unbiased and backed up by evidence. It can be difficult to determine whether something is credible or not, especially on the internet, so here are some things to look for:

WHO

Who published the information?

Why did they publish it – do they have anything to gain from it?

Does the author have direct experience with the topic?

Are they respected by large organizations, governments and academia as an expert?

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WHAT

What is the main idea of the piece, and are claims backed up by evidence?

Look for pieces with supporting information and a list of verifiable resources.

WHERE

Where did you find the information?

Examine the source of your information and make sure it is reliable.

If using a website, look for official sites with domains such as .gov, .ac or .edu.

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WHEN

When was the information written?

Make sure your information remains relevant or provides some historical context if it is an older piece.

WHY

What was the reason behind publishing this piece?

Try to identify the agenda or objective behind the piece and analyse whether it appears biased.

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