here is a lot of news out there in the world, national and global. A lot of news, and a lot of sources with their own biases and exclusion of details. In a world where misinformation runs rampant, how do you identify fake news to pick credible sources and keep up with what is actually going on in the world? It’s time to find your go-to sources for reliable news and learn how to check in with them regularly.
This article covers:
- How to find credible news sources
- How to find keep up with the news
Finding Credible News Sources
Finding a credible news source -- particularly when it comes to hot-button topics -- can be tricky. With a constant stream of updates and information at your fingertips, you have to be careful where your news is coming from. There are many news articles that lie and make up facts, and others with obvious or subtle biases. News sources are best when they come from a reliable source and take a neutral perspective. When you come across a news website, or one of their articles, study the webpage for hints that the news source isn’t credible.
Importance in the Name
What is the name of the website? If it ends in “lo” (for example, “Newslo”) then this site is best to be avoided. These types of sites mix accurate facts with false or misleading facts, sometimes for the purpose of comedy and satire. You should also be cautious of websites that end with “.com.co” because this often means the site is a fake version of a real news source. Odd domain names in general point to reporting that is odd and rarely truthful.
Look of the Site
A lot can be said about the news source by how their webpage looks. If the website is poorly designed and uses all caps, this is a sign that that news organization should be verified or read along with other news sources. Checking the “About Us” page can tell you more about the credibility of the source. You may even want to research the news source in outlets such as Wikipedia.
Next check who the author is. See none attributed? This may indicate the article is not credible and requires verification. Some news organizations are allowing bloggers to write articles with a less thorough process of editing. Beware of these articles for their mistakes.
Sometimes this part is easy. Biased articles are going to give you an opinion on the news being reported. If the article makes you angry, that’s a good sign it’s biased against your opinion. Bias can also mean the article appeals to your opinions and you feel validated by the perspective of the article. Bias isn’t necessarily bad as long as you’re aware of it. Opinionated articles are windows into perspectives, and it’s good to learn about these. However if you want to know a fuller truth of a story, it’s best to read biased articles along with more neutral, or oppositely positioned biased articles.
Bias is identified best through observing word choice and message of the article. Unbiased articles will use words without positive or negative connotations. For example, using the word “said” instead of “mumbled.” Reading an article title, do you already feel an opinion being given? Reading the entirety -- and especially the end -- of point to whether the article is pulling a message out of the story, and perhaps a call to action. If the author is making conclusions, using the story to make a statement or strengthen an opinion, then the article is officially biased.
Read Multiple Sources
A single news source and a single article is never going to cover everything. Details will be left out, and a perspective may be brought to the narrative. Because of this, it’s good practice to read multiple articles from multiple sources on the same topic. This does add time and effort to your keeping up with the news, but it’s essential to get a well-rounded understanding of the news.
Tricks for Keeping in Touch with the Latest News
Once you’ve determined your credible news sources and you have a collection of go-to sources, the difficulty may come on how to stay up-to-date. It’s a lot of information, which takes a lot of time to cover which you’re unsure you have. Luckily in today’s internet age, keeping up got a whole lot easier.
Download News Apps on Your Phone
You carry your smartphone with you everywhere. You don’t leave the house without it. Well that phone has access to all the news you need, and it’s need to make that easily accessible to you. Download news apps that come completely free, to reliable sources such as CNN, BBC, NPR, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and The New York Times. Once an app is downloaded, access to the news has just become ten times easier.
Downloading the news apps still doesn’t change the fact that you have no time to spare for them. If this is how you feel, luckily the smartphone can help you in other ways. Podcasts are great for the busy bees who like to multitask, listening to the news as they perform other responsibilities. There are many podcasts available to download. Take the time to find the voices you’re interested in hearing from.
You want to read multiple sources of news, you really do. Knowing about the multiple perspectives sounds helpful to you. However, that’s a lot of work. Not with the news aggregator. You can download a news aggregator that has the main function of gathering news and other content for easy viewing. There are many reliable news aggregator apps available, such as Flipboard that includes a well-designed user interface. Feedly allows you to choose the sites you want content collected from. Google Currents syncs to your Google account. Whatever prioritization you need in the news aggregator, there’s likely an app for it.
Social media can be a slippery slope that can take you quickly into the pool of unreliable sources. However there are the obvious benefits of finding the news through social media. You’re going on social media anywhere, perhaps more than you should be. Why not catch the news while you’re there. To make sure the news you’re receiving is credible, follow the news sources you’ve deemed reliable. On apps like Facebook, you can go to the news source’s page and click on the drop down arrow. Under the “Following” tab is the selection “See First,” so that you can always get the news source’s feed first when first opening the app.
Make It a Habit, and Make It Fun
Staying in the loop requires keeping up with the news that is coming in 24/7. This means that in order to really keep up, you need to establish a habit of it. Set reminders on your phone if that helps you. Or incorporate news reading into your routine. Read the news as you eat your breakfast eggs, listen to a podcast as you drive to work, open the app once you get into bed and are about to turn off the lights.
Making it a habit is best done when you find a way to enjoy it. News can be dull, horrifying, or overwhelming. Where’s the joy in reading about that every day? There are many methods to get your news in tolerable sums. Comedy news shows have become increasingly popular. Watching an episode a day can make the news easier to get excited about. Shows like “The Daily Show,” “Last Week Tonight,” “Saturday Night Live,” “The Late Show,” and much, much more are available for nightly viewings. Not only is the news presented in a way you may find more engaging, but the hosts are also bringing in enjoyable comedy. These shows are most (if not all) obviously biased, which is why these shows are best paired with other news sources.
You can also find enjoyment and purpose in keeping up with the news by finding a friend to discuss with daily. Find a friend from work or a loved one at home who would enjoy discussing topical news. Becoming fluent in the news will allow you to give your opinion on them with factual support, giving you an advantage in lively debates and discussions.
The news can be overwhelming just by how much of it there is. Finding your credible sources and keeping them accessible to you will make staying up-to-date more realistic. Make staying in touch with the news a part of your life and it’ll become as easy as brushing teeth.