Skip to main content
Purdue University Purdue Logo Purdue Libraries

EAPS120: News literacy: Spot fake news

News literacy

How to choose your news video describes tips to choose news and separate face from opinion. Our Evaluate news information can help you critically evaluate the credibility of news sources. Fighting fake news has become quite popular and politically focused in recent years. Meanwhile, fake news about science has always existed. Battling bad science video shows us, at high speed, the ways evidence can be distorted. How to spot fake news offers you an eight-step guide to evaluate the quality of information sources, ‚Äč

How to spot fake news

The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) is the global voice of the library and information profession. IFLA has made this infographic with eight simple steps to discover the verifiability of a given news-piece in front of you.

How to choose your news

Evaluate news information

We all get more and more news on the Internet, including social media. It is becoming harder to evaluate what is real and easier than ever to spread misinformation. Below is a guideline for you to evaluate your news information:

Currency: The timeliness of the information

  • How old is the information and is that important for your topic?
  • Does it report facts from the actual time of the event or issue?
  • Is it retrospective, providing some review or analysis of previous research?

Relevancy: The importance of the information for your needs

  • Does the information relate to your topic or answer your question?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • Have you looked at a variety of sources before determining the appropriateness of this source?

Authority: The source of the information

  • Who is the author/creator of the information?  Is it a person, group of people, an organization?
  • Is he/she the original author/creator?
  • Is the person qualified? What are his/her credentials? What is his/her occupation?
  • Is the source sponsored or endorsed by an institution or organization?
  • Is there a potential for bias?

Accuracy: The reliability, truthfulness, and correctness of the content       

  • How to detect bias in news media
  • Is the bias of the author/creator obvious? Is the source trying to convince you of a point of view?
  • Where does the information come from? Is it supported by evidence?
  • Is the publication in which the item appears published, sponsored, or endorsed by a political or other special interest group?
  • Does the language or tone seem unbiased or free of emotion?
  • Are there typos, spelling errors, or grammatical errors?

Purpose: The reason the information exists

  • What is the intended purpose of the information: inform, teach, sale?
  • Is the information fact, opinion, propaganda?
  • Does the point of view of appear objective and impartial?
  • Are there political, ideological, culture, religious, institutional leanings presented?

Battling bad science