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Fake News

News Literacy is the ability to use critical thinking skills to judge the reliability and credibility of news reports, whether they come via print, television, the internet or social media (Digital Resource Center, Course Pack).

"And that brings us to tonight's word: Truthiness. Now I'm sure some of the word-police, the "wordanistas" over at Webster’s, are gonna say, "Hey, that's not a word!" Well, anybody who knows me knows that I am no fan of dictionaries or reference books. They're elitist. Constantly telling us what is or isn't true, what did or didn't happen...”

– Stephen Colbert, October 17, 2005, The Colbert Report

Lee, Samantha and Shana Lebowitz. "20 cognitive biases that screw up your decisions." Business Insider, 26 Aug. 2015, 12:38, www.businessinsider.com/cognitive-biases-that-affect-decisions-2015-8.

Currency

  • What is the publication date or last date updated?
  • Is the content timely, useful, and valid for your information need?

Authorship

  • Who wrote the content?
  • What makes that individual author or organization qualified to write it? What other information about the author is included?
  • Who sponsored the content?

Purpose

  • Is the purpose of the content to inform, to entertain, or to promote a product or service? 
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • Does the information seem credible? If so, can you check the information against another resource (i.e. book, journal article, newspaper, etc.) for credibility?

Objectivity

  • Is content biased?
  • Are opinions balanced or does the author have an agenda?
  • How does the bias influence the information?

Writing Style

 

 

 

  • Does the information contain a bibliography, references, or a comprehensive list of sources supporting its theme, topic, or agenda?
  • Is content presented at an appropriate level for an academic research paper?
  • Does the supporting information fit your research need?
  • Is the work complete, or is it a summary of other work?
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