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Fake news: Fact & Fiction

Real news

"Real news" is written by professional journalists who adhere to ethical guidelines for gathering and writing the news with emphasis on fairness, independence, accountability, accuracy, transparency, impartiality, integrity, and truth. 

Examples of journalistic codes of ethics:

Examples of journalistic codes of ethics:

Finding real news: use the Library news database

Finding real news: using reliable news sites

Fact checking

Fact checking is the act of checking factual assertions in a non-fictional text in order to determine the veracity and correctness of the factual statements in the text. This may be done either before (ante hoc) or after (post hoc) the text has been published or otherwise disseminated.

Research on the impact of fact-checking is relatively recent but the existing research suggests that fact-checking does indeed correct misperceptions among citizens, as well as discourage politicians from spreading misinformation.

Dutch fact checkers

American fact checkers

Fact checking and Facebook

Wikipedia article about fact checking

How fact-checking works: Poilifact checklist

Ask the person making the claim for evidence.
Consider the evidence you get from speakers as a tip sheet.

Look for what other fact-checkers have found before you.
Use all options to verify the evidence: see what has been written on a given topic, look at fact-checking sites, pursue other ideas and angles on an issue to see if there’s even more to be found on a topic.

Do a Google search -- and then search again.
A Google search is basic, but Google’s algorithm is powerful. Google’s advanced search settings allow you to look at specific sites and time periods. Search using as many different combinations as you can. Learn how to use Google’s search operators so you can look by file type (file:pdf) or domain name (site:politifact.com). 

Search the Deep Web.
What is the Deep Web? The Deep Web includes areas of the Internet that aren’t open to surface searching. This usually means databases and subscription sites, like Nexis Uni.

Look for experts with different perspectives.
Experts can point you to research you might not find on your own, and they often give important context to research you already found. You should look for more than two sides to any specific controversy or issue. Experts can really help you move beyond black-and-white views of issues to portray a spectrum of complexity.

Check out some books.
You might not have time to read a whole book on a tight deadline, but searching books can help you find authors to interview, to look up quotes or find explanations of technical terms.