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Research 101 - Finding News: Fake News

Get the latest news on finding & evaluating news!

Have you heard about Fake News?

Fake news is a new topic in the national conversation, and it is one that is of the utmost importance. As more and more media is available for consumption, how do you know which articles to trust and which are fake, especially as there are a growing number of websites that purposefully create and publish fake or misleading "news"? The following articles and guides can help discern what is truthful and what is fake.

Image courtesy of Pixabay. Retrieved from https://pixabay.com/illustrations/fake-fake-news-media-laptop-1903774 June 2019.

Fake News Identification Guides

Fake News Example

Below is an example of a fake news story & the factual news story that it distorts.

Fact-Checking Websites

Fact-checking sites can sometimes help us quickly recognize potential truth from potential fiction. But not all fact-checkers are equal! Some, in fact, mislead themselves. If you use one, double-check it with another if possible! Better yet, check on the data yourself.

Take the Challenge!

Take a look at these three articles & take the challenge! (Each link opens in a pop-up window.) Can you spot the fake news?

  1. Sheriff’s Probe Finds Obama Birth Certificate ‘Fake’
  2. Sheriff Joe Arpaio Closes Probe of Obama Birth Certificate
  3. Sheriff Joe Arpaio, Still a 'Birther,' Says 5-year Investigation Proves Obama Birth Certificate is 'Fake'

Which articles are factual? And how do you know? Choose the articles below that are factual & find out!

Sorry--Wrong Answer! This is NOT factual news. Take another look at the website. How do you know it's fake news?

  • The article title is in ALL CAPS
  • The website has pop-up advertisements, often promoting their own products
  • The article cites itself as a source the majority of the time.

Correct! This is a not fake news. Here are some clues:

  • Written as a report, factually
  • Purpose is to inform
  • Recognized and Respected Organization (The Associated Press)
  • Article is current

Screen shots of AP website showing header, author affiliation, and "About Us" section

Correct! This is not fake news. Here are some clues:

  • Written as a report, factually
  • Purpose is to inform
  • Recognized and Respected Organization (The Arizona Republic newspaper)
  • Article is current

Header, byline, & About Us from AZCentral article

Next: Good News?