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Friend, Enemy, or Frenemy? The News Literacy Challenge
The first thing we often see in our social media feeds or in our Google searches is an attention-grabbing headline. But, how reliable is the story behind the headline?
One approach to evaluating information we find online is to use the SIFT method for discerning fact from fiction. This involves four key moves.
Pause for a moment, and ask yourself, Do I recognize this website or source of information? Do I know the reputation of the site or the authors of the information I’ve found? Am I familiar with their reputation for making sensible claims? If any of your answers is no, or if you’re not sure, continue with the rest of SIFT to get a sense of what you’re looking at.
Investigate the source
Ask yourself, Where is this information coming from? What kind of credentials, expertise, or insight does the person or organization have who created this information, and what's their agenda? Taking a few minutes to figure out where a story, social media post, video, or other piece of information originated will help you better understand its significance and trustworthiness.
Find trusted coverage
Sometimes we may not be able to readily determine the credibility of a source, or we may be unsure if what we’ve found is good information. Thus, we can look for other (and even better!) coverage than the original source we came across. One approach is to look around and see if we can corroborate a claim in other reliable sources by simply searching in Google.
Trace claims to their original context
Tracing a claim, quote, image, or video back to its original source can sometimes reveal that there is more to it than we first thought, and can help us gather (and share) a more complete, accurate picture of the issue we’re exploring.
Your Challenge: Determine Which News Stories are Real or Fake!
Let's Get Started with the Stories Below.
1. Answer each of the questions below, and then click the Submit button to complete your answer. Note: this quiz is anonymous.
2. Click on "View Score" to see what you got right and wrong, plus feedback on the answers. The answer feedback includes links to resources related to each question.