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Communication: News

Fact Check

Oxford Dictionaries

News Quality Chart

Always think about the sources of the news you are looking at.  Sources near the top are your best bet.  Bias is not in itself a problem as long as the source uses good news practices.  


Ground News

Ground News

See every side of every news story.

Read the news from multiple perspectives. See through media bias with reliable news from local and international sources.

Bias — What is the political bias of a news outlet?

Factuality — How reliable are the reporting practices of the news outlets covering a story?

Ownership — Who owns the news you read?

[Some Ground News features require a subscription. Also, not all articles that Ground News links to are free. Paywalled news sources are indicated by a $.]

The Conversation

The Conversation Daily Newsletter

Get fact-based journalism written by experts in your inbox each morning, Monday - Saturday.

Trustworthy and Informative.

The Conversation, publishes articles written by academic experts for the general public.




"ProPublica is an independent, nonprofit newsroom that produces investigative journalism with moral force."


the 19th News


The 19th News Network "The 19th aims to be a source of news and information for those who have been underserved by and underrepresented in American media" and is "an independent, nonprofit newsroom reporting on gender, politics and policy."

Fall 2020 Featured Website


Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Three-part series looking into the future of the European Union’s (EU) disinformation policy.

The EU’s Role in Fighting Disinformation: Taking Back the Initiative / James Pamment

The EU’s Role in Fighting Disinformation: Crafting A Disinformation Framework / James Pamment

The EU’s Role in the Fight Against Disinformation: Developing Policy Interventions for the 2020s / James Pamment



Fall 2020 Featured Articles

Summer 2020 Washington Post The Fact Checker Channel on YouTube

Spring 2020 UN tackles 'infodemic' of misinformation

Films on Demand: How to Recognize Fake News

Reference Shelf: Alternative Facts, Post-Truth and the Information War

Definitions for reading, watching, listening to and writing about the news.

Terminology to add to the list, includes:
byline - a line giving the name of the writer of an article in a newspaper or magazine.

Public Media Code of Integrity

Native Advertising

Truth, truthiness, triangulation: A news literacy toolkit for a “post-truth” world

Evaluating "News" Sources

False, Misleading, Clickbait-y, and Satirical “News” Sources

1. F
ake, false, or regularly misleading websites are often shared on social media, including Facebook. Some of these websites may rely on “outrage” by using distorted headlines and decontextualized or dubious information in order to generate likes, shares, and profits.

2. Some websites circulate misleading and/or potentially unreliable information, or present opinion pieces as news.

3. Other websites use hyperbolic or clickbait-y headlines and/or social media descriptions, but may otherwise circulate reliable and/or verifiable information.

4. Other sources purposefully fake with the intent of satire/comedy, which can offer important critical commentary on politics and society, but have the potential to be shared as actual/literal news, for example, The Onion.

Tips for analyzing news sources:

● Avoid websites that end in “lo” ex: Newslo. These sites take pieces of accurate information and then packaging that information with other false or misleading “facts” (sometimes for the purposes of satire or comedy).

● Watch out for websites that end in “” as they are often fake versions of real news sources

● Watch out if known/reputable news sites are not also reporting on the story. Sometimes lack of coverage is the result of corporate media bias and other factors, but there should typically be more than one source reporting on a topic or event.

● Odd domain names generally equal odd and rarely truthful news.

● Lack of author attribution may, but not always, signify that the news story is suspect and requires verification.

● Some news organizations are also letting bloggers post under the banner of particular news brands; however, many of these posts do not go through the same editing process. (This includes Forbes blogs, for example.)

● Check the “About Us” tab on websites or look up the website on Snopes or Wikipedia for more information about the source.

● Bad web design and use of ALL CAPS can also be a sign that the source you’re looking at should be verified and/or read in conjunction with other sources.

● If the story makes you REALLY ANGRY it’s probably a good idea to keep reading about the topic via other sources to make sure the story you read wasn’t purposefully trying to make you angry (with potentially misleading or false information) in order to generate shares and ad revenue.

● If the website you’re reading encourages you to DOX individuals (to reveal the private information of others, i.e., cell phone number, email address, etc.), it’s unlikely to be a legitimate source of news.

● It’s always best to read multiple sources of information to get a variety of viewpoints and media frames. Some sources, such as The Daily Kos, The Huffington Post, and Fox News, vacillate between providing important, legitimate, problematic, and/or hyperbolic news coverage, requiring readers and viewers to verify and contextualize information with other sources.


Adapted from: 

© 2016  by Melissa Zimdars. The work 'False, Misleading, Clickbait-y, and Satirical “News” Sourcesavailable under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Melissa Zimdars, Assistant Professor of Communication, Department of Communication and Media, Merrimack College, North Andover, MA

How to Choose Your News

First Draft News

Columbia Journalism Review | 6 Types of Misinformation

Calling Bullshit: In the Age of Big Data

The News Literacy Project and... how to know what to believe

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