How to spot fake news: Information that is pertinent in this day and age

Caitlyn Hansbury, Opinions Manager

With mid-term elections coming up, the Judge Brett Kavanaugh scandal, and the social media age that we live in, determining the difference between real news and fake news is more relevant than ever.


News is defined as “newly received or noteworthy information about recent or important events.” News sources include print stories found in newspapers or magazines, broadcast sources that include the radio and television and internet websites that are found at the local, state and national levels.


Fake news ranges from propaganda and misinformation to news stories that look like they could be real, but actually are a complete hoax. Often, fake news stories will contain information that relates to trending topics on sites, such as Facebook and Google. When looking for trustworthy news sources, there is a lot to keep in mind to ensure that you have the right information. 


The following tips and tricks will help you spot fake news and keep you questioning your news sources:


1.     Read beyond the headlines – Headlines are used to entice the reader to read an article or a story and typically do not tell the whole story. Sometimes a headline will be about a completely different subject than the story.


2.     Webpage style – Take a look at the “About Us” page of a website. Sometimes a website will tell you that they are based in satire or are not to be taken seriously.

3.     Writing style – Trustworthy sources should be polished and there should be no glaring spelling or grammar mistakes.


4.     Author credentials – Is the author of a story a professional or an expert in their field? Have they been published before? What is their educational background? These are all important questions to ask and consider when considering a source.


5. One final tip is that if a source can be used in an educational context, it is more than likely a credible and trustworthy source. If you keep these tips in mind and question everything, you are on the right path to conquering fake news.