Decades ago, the only people we got our news from were trusted evening newscasters. Anyone can post news online now, which leads to an abundance of sensationalized and downright fake news stories. To stay properly informed, follow these steps to learn how to vet online news articles.
The most important component of any news article is the headline. Many can be misleading and inaccurately misrepresent the article, so read the entire article and not just the headline to get an idea of what is actually going on. Also, if a headline sounds too outrageous to be true, it often is, so be alert.
Credibility is also important. The author, news outlet, and quoted sources all contribute to the trustworthiness of a news article. If the article comes from an unfamiliar source, doesn’t list an author, or doesn’t have sources, then you should do your research before sharing. Even reputable publications make mistakes, and you should try to find a second source to confirm any information you encounter.
Finally, make sure the news source is recent and the URL looks legitimate. A fake news site may misspell the name of a reputable publication to seem more reliable. If you’ve followed these steps, you can call yourself a news detective! Share these tips with your friends so they don’t fall for unreliable news — we’ve all been fooled at some point. To learn about the reach of fake news, click here.