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Journalism: Evaluating News Stories

This guide is designed to assist students locate resources in order to conduct research for journalistic articles

Verify Information and Fact Check

  • Fact-checking websites can help you investigate claims to help you determine whether what you hear or read is true. These resources can help you determine the legitimacy of a claim. They can also help you determine if a site is legitimate. 
  • You can practice lateral reading, like a fact checker.  Google the site, open up multiple tabs, read several different sources about the information or site in question.
  • However, even fact-checking websites should be examined critically.

Media Bias/Fact Check

Point of View: Detecting Bias

Magazines, newspapers, broadcasters and organizations may have a reputation for being politically left or right. The mental model is a horizontal line with starting on the left with progressive, liberal, moderate or centerist, continuing right with conservative, ultra-conservative sources. They may be associated with a particular political party, religious movement, denomination, or be secular, or they may have a one-issue cause (environmentalists). Some media outlets readily acknowledge a bias while others have unacknowledged bias and still others strive to present a variety of viewpoints. Knowing the source’s reputation alerts the reader to bias in the information it provides. Attitude should not be confused with factual accuracy. 

Credit is given to Lakeland Community College Library for the creation of this document. 

Other Fact Checking Sites

How to Spot Fake News from (3.23 minute video)

How to Spot Fake News (IFLA)


IFLA has made this infographic with eight simple steps (based on’s 2016 article How to Spot Fake News)  to discover the verifiability of a given news-piece in front of you

Infographic listing 8 ways to spot fake news

Identifying Fake News

EasyBib recently posted, “10 Ways to Spot a Fake News Article,” which highlighted key items to look for on a website when determining its credibility. The infographic found below summarizes the content from the blog post and students can use it as a guide when using news sources in research. Post, print, or share it with your students or others!

Infographic listing 10 ways to evaluate news article for fake news

Ten Questions to ask for news detection for fake news