Social Wellbeing

Finding a Trusted News Source

Now more than ever, there are more than just three sides to every story. News outlets are publishing stories quickly all for the chance to grab your attention first. If you’re active on social media, you’ll notice that there are unfamiliar news sources that are spreading “facts.”.

Learning how to fact check your sources is important especially when it comes to making informed decisions such as voting for your local government or participating in social change initiatives that are going on in your community. Making decisions based on facts and your beliefs will help you feel more confident about the choice you’re making. 

The Challenge

Tuck away the info from this challenge to consider when you’re reviewing your news sources.

Credentials

Trustworthy news sources will use reputable sources (people, documents, photos...etc.) to back up their facts. You will always be able to go back and find these facts outside of the article. The articles that say “a source close to the family“ is not the most trustworthy. If you don’t get a name or a link to a video, you may want to question the validity.

Headlines

Have you ever clicked on an article that says “YOU WON’T BELIEVE WHAT CORA DID” and when you open it, it’s about how beautiful the clouds are? Yes, we’ve all had our emotions played with by these non-reputable sources. Factual sites actually use headlines that accurately represent the article content.

Transparency

Trustworthy news sources will indicate if the article you are reading is an opinion piece, and indicate that the article may present biases. In contrast, a regular news story or a feature story is considered to be more fact-based.

Agenda

Trustworthy news sources uphold the ethical standards of journalism and exist to inform their readers. If a news source is pushing an agenda, chances are you’ll be able to pick up on it pretty quickly. They will likely be giving opinions rather than facts, which can be tricky to differentiate! Look for a news source that is giving facts (think back to the “credentials” portion of this challenge) and provides more than one view on the same topic or issue.  

These four areas can help you move in the right direction. You need to feel confident in the news sources that you pull from to make decisions about things of importance to you. A few questions to ask yourself as you consume your news:

• Am I seeking out sources that do more than confirm my existing beliefs?

• Am I consuming news from multiple platforms-TV, printed periodicals, radio—not just from social media or populated feeds (algorithms can work against us getting varied content)

• Am I taking the time to vet my outlets (perhaps using the areas discussed here!) 

Report Participation

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