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Evaluating News and Information: Home

Journalism Librarian

Profile Photo
Sandy Schiefer
101 Reynolds Journalism Institute
University of Missouri
Columbia MO 65211

What is Fake News?

“…bad news phenomenon, which also encompasses many forms of shoddy, unresearched, error-filled, and deliberately misleading reporting…a lot of these viral claims aren’t “news” at all, but fiction, satire and efforts to fool readers into thinking they’re for real.” - David Mikkelson

Seven Types of Mis- and Disinformation

Satire or Parody - No intention to cause harm but has potential to fool

Misleading Content - Misleading use of information to frame an issue or individual

Imposter Content - When genuine sources are impersonated

False Context - When genuine content is shared with false contextual information

Manipulated content - When genuine information or imagery is manipulated to deceive

Fabricated Content - New content is 100% false, designed to deceive and do harm

False Connection - When headlines, visuals or captions don't support the content.


The Fact Checker’s guide for detecting fake news

Tips on how to spot fake news, including: checking URL; search photos in Google Images; verify original sources in the news that you’re consuming; install a Chrome plug-in to the web browser; checking the ads on the website to see if they look legit; check for a “Contact Us” section on the website.

Source: Washington Post

Duration: 2:04 minutes

Fact Checking Sources


Web Literacy for Student Fact-Checkers

Web Literacy for Student Fact Checkers

  1. Why This Book?
  2. Four Moves
  3. Building a Fact-Checking Habit by Checking Your Emotions
  4. How to Use Previous Work
  5. Fact Checking Sites
  6. Wikipedia
  7. Go Upstream to Find the Source
  8. Identifying Sponsored Content
  9. Activity: Spot Sponsored Content
  10. Understanding Syndication
  11. Tracking the Source of Viral Content
  12. Tracking the Source of Viral Photos
  13. Using Google Reverse Image Search
  14. Filtering by Time and Place to Find the Original
  15. Activity: Trace Vital Photos Upstream
  16. What "Reading Laterally" Means
  17. Evaluating a Website or Publications Authority
  18. Basic Techniques: Domain Searches, WHOIS
  19. Activity: Evaluate a Site
  20. Stupid Journal Tricks
  21. Finding a Journal's Impact Factor
  22. Using Google Scholar to Check Author Expertise
  23. How to Think About Research
  24. Finding High Quality Secondary Sources
  25. Choosing Your Experts First
  26. Evaluating News Sources
  27. What Makes a Trustworthy News Source?
  28. National Newspapers of Record
  29. Activity: Expert or Crank?
  30. Activity: Find Top Authorities for a Subject
  31. Verifying Twitter Activity
  32. Activity: Verify a Twitter Account
  33. Using the Wayback Machine to Check for Page Changes
  34. Finding out When a Page was Published Using Google
  35. Citation Rates
  36. Using Google Books to Track Down Quotes
  37. Understanding Astroturf
  38. Searching TV Transcripts with the Internet Archive
  39. Treating Google's "Snippets" with Suspicion
  40. Using Buzzsumo to find Highly Viral Stories
  41. Finding Out Who Owns a Domain
  42. Avoiding Confirmation Bias in Searches
  43. Promoted Tweets
  44. Finding Old Newspaper Articles
  45. Using Facebook Live Map to Find Breaking Coverage