News is all around us, but we never know what to believe. In a time of fake news and media gossip sites, valuable information can sometimes be misconstrued. Staying up to date with a reputable news site during times of uncertainty is important. Here are some ways to make sure the news you’re getting is correct and the sources are reputable.
1. Stop believing everything you see on social media.
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat are not news sites. Many of the “articles” circulating on those sites are click-bait or fabricated in some way and just because one of your closest friends is sharing it with you doesn’t mean it’s true either. Social media is where you go to talk among others or share a common concern after gathering all valuable information needed to build your opinion.
2. Check the news site.
Look around on the news site when looking for articles and information. Visit the ‘about us’ section, look at the URL and double-check the information that’s given. The language in the article and ‘about us’ section will tell you everything you need to know. If it sounds dramatic or as if a side is being taken, it’s probably not going to be the best source.
3. Look at quotes, who said them, and if that individual is reliable.
When looking at quotes or interviews, be sure to know who is speaking and how reliable they can be. You want to be sure that the individual the quotes are coming from is someone who has knowledge in that specific area and has enough experience to form an educated opinion. You wouldn’t believe health information from someone who isn’t a doctor or in the health profession so why believe news from a tabloid or gossip site?
4. Information isn’t made up.
If the media site you’re looking at is pulling information from thin air, they’re probably not the most reliable site. All information, unless it’s common knowledge, should be backed up with some sort of fact or source that is accessible to anyone else who asks for it.
5. Take everything with a grain of salt.
It’s ultimately up to you to decide what you will and won’t believe. Doing your own research will only get you as far as the correct information will take you. There’s not many capital T truths out there so you must use your brain and critical thinking skills to decipher what’s true and what’s not. Everyone is entitled to agree or disagree with the information they’re given.
There are tons of information in the news, social media, and internet; you must be able to navigate through it all and stay up to date with what’s true and reliable. Questioning your information will take you closer to the truth and keep you a step ahead.