How do you know your story is fake, real or filled with bias?
Well, it is challenging. The news comes in many different forms – from Newspapers, Whatsapp Messages, Facebook, Television and of course from other forms of social media. But how do we recognize real news from the fake news?
Here are key features to keep in mind when reading the news as well as coaching this to our students or patrons.
- Consider the origin of the news: Where has news item come from? Who is the author of the article? What are his/her credentials? If there is no author, I would ignore the message.
- Go beyond the headlines: Check if the headlines match the content of the article. The headlines can often be misleading, and the headline could only tell you half the truth.
- Check the dates of the article: Sometimes, news stories are repeated, that doesn’t mean they are irrelevant, it just means you need to know if the story has been told before and is misinterpreted in present contexts.
- Look for biases: If the article has a leaning towards a particular viewpoint – then you know that it leans towards the left or right. Bias articles often don’t give you both views. Always check the links of the stories and see where it leads. If it evokes strong emotions, know it could be biased.
- Check the urls of the websites: Sometimes the news websites do not match the URL’s you may at this point want to check the “About us” page to tell you about the authenticity of the website.
- Slogans and breaking news items evoke many strong reactions, check the URL, whole story and of course the author/source of the item.
There are few Fact Checker extensions that you can use to check for the authenticity of your news. One such one is First Draft News Check that you can download on to your phone or your computer.