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Fake News: Learning to Critically Evaluate Media Sources

"Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts." --Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Newsweek, 25 August 1986, p. 27.

SIFT Method

Determining if a source is credible and reliable can be challenging. Use the SIFT (4 moves) method to help you analyze information, especially news or other online media.


STOP | Do you know anything about the website or source of information you found? What about its reputation? It's purpose? You'll want to know these things before you read it, cite it, or share it on social media. 


INVESTIGATE THE SOURCE | It's important to know the expertise and agenda of your source. Try a Google search of the author or publisher to find out what others say about them. Open multiple tabs. 


FIND TRUSTED COVERAGE | Look for the best information on a topic or scan multiple sources to see what the consensus is. Find something in-depth and read about more viewpoints. Even if you don't agree with the consensus, it will help you to investigate further.


TRACE CLAIMS, QUOTES, & MEDIA | Is there a study or report mentioned in the article? Find the original report to see if it was accurately reported. What about images? A reverse-image search may be necessary. 

Evaluate sources with the SIFT method

Fact-Checking Sites

The sites below generally review specific news stories and claims. Wikipedia, Google, Twitter, and LinkedIn can be used to look up quotes and research authors of articles to see their professional credentials.  ​​