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Media Literacy Guide: Fact Finding

Determining what is fake news is necessary and can be difficult. This research guide's purpose is to explain steps for finding the facts, how to use one's judgment and give examples for clarification.

What is this page for?

This page provides tips and websites for determining if a news story is real or false


Fact Finding Sites

The following sites investigate news stories - they use techniques discussed in Evaluating the News tabs and they have staff who are experts at evaluation.

  • is a nonpartisan, nonprofit “consumer advocate” for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics. Their goal is to apply the best practices of both journalism and scholarship, and to increase public knowledge and understanding. is a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania.
  • Fact Checker, from the Washington Post, will focus on any statements by political figures and government officials–in the United States and abroad–that cry out for fact-checking. 
  • LeadStories is a fact-checking and debunking website at the intersection of big data and journalism that launched in 2015. 
  • PolitiFact is a fact-checking website that rates the accuracy of claims by elected officials and others who speak up in American politics. PolitiFact is run by editors and reporters from the Tampa Bay Times, an independent newspaper in Florida, as is PunditFact, a site devoted to fact-checking pundits.
  • SciCheck’s feature that focuses exclusively on false and misleading scientific claims that are made by partisans to influence public policy. 
  • Snopes fact-checking and original, investigative reporting lights the way to evidence-based and contextualized analysis. They always link to and document sources so readers are empowered to do independent research and make up their own minds.

How to Recognize a Fake News Story

How to Fact Check Yourself

7 Steps to Better Fact Checking from PolitiFact

Fake Or Real? How To Self-Check The News And Get The Facts from NPR (National Public Radio)

How to Fact Check the Internet advice from American Press Institute (API) staffer Jane Elizabeth. By Brandi Broxson and Katie Holdefehr

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