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Evaluating News: Know Your News

Evaluate the new info graphic

This Guide was designed by USC Upstate librarian Laura Karas to help you become aware of the news around you.  It is a curated collection of definitions, examples, videos, tools for identification, articles and links from academic libraries discussing Fake News, Bias News, Satirical News, and Propaganda.

Know different types of misleading and false news

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  • Fake news - These are the easiest to debunk and often come from known sham sites that are designed to look like real news outlets. They may include misleading photographs and headlines that, at first read, sound like they could be real.
  • Misleading news - These are the hardest to debunk, because they often contain a kernel of truth: A fact, event or quote that has been taken out of context. Look for sensational headlines that aren't supported by the information in the article.
  • Highly partisan news - A type of misleading news, this may be an interpretation of a real news event where the facts are manipulated to fit an agenda.
  • Clickbait - The shocking or teasing headlines of these stories trick you into clicking for more information -- which may or may not live up to what was promised.
  • Satire - This one is tough, because satire doesn't pretend to be real and serves a purpose as commentary or entertainment. But if people are not familiar with a satire site, they can share the news as if it is legitimate.
  • Conspiracy Theory - A conspiracy theory is an explanation or interpretation of events that is based on questionable or nonexistent evidence of a supposed secret plan by a group -- often governments and mainstream media outlets -- to obscure events. Like propaganda, conspiracy theories -- which are almost always completely fabricated, even if individual elements of the theories contain nuggets of fact -- can be presented as fake news when they are packaged  as factual news stories

How to Spot Fake News

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Transcript of above InfoGraphic

  • Consider the Source - Click away from the story to investigate the site, its mission and its contact info.
  • Read Beyond - Headlines can be outrageous in an effort to get clicks. What's the whole story?
  • Check the Author - Do a quick search on the author.  Are they credible? Are they real?
  • Supporting sources - Click on those links. Determine if the info given actually supports the story
  • Check the Date - Reposting old news stories doesn't mean they're relevant to current events
  • Is it a Joke - If it is too outlandish, it might be satire. Research the site and author to be sure
  • Check your Biases - Consider if our own beliefs could affect your judgment
  • Ask the Experts - Ask a Librarian or consult a fact-checking site

Other Helpful InfoGraphic/ Handouts

Logically Fallacious