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z Hot Topic: Fake News: Home



Books & Articles

Jacobson, L. (2017). The Smell Test. (Cover story). School Library Journal, 63(1), 24-28


There has never been any guarantee that what you read in the news is true, but the internet and social media now provide far more ways to slant the facts or simply lie.

Today, some news is clearly fake. The Onion is a longstanding source of parody or comically contrived "news," while The National Enquirer lures in  readers from the grocery store waiting line with headlines meant to stretch our concept of what is believable.

While we accept that most mainstream sources of information, such as TV, newspapers and magazines are true and accurate, they can sometimes be inaccurate or even purposely false. Websites and social media can say whatever they choose. Twitter, Facebook, etc. provide instant "posting" of anything without regulation.

This guide is provided to help you separate truth from fiction.

“A lie can travel half way around the world while truth is still putting on its shoes.”  ~ Mark Twain

"You furnish the pictures and I’ll furnish the war.” – William Randolph Hearst (Publisher), January 25, 1898.

The links below are a sample of the many groups and organizations involved in the world of fake news.

Studies of Fake News

Organizations Studying Fake News

Fact Checking Organizations

Known Fake News Sites

By Venessa Otero (2017)



Pew Research Center []

How Can I Identify a Fake News Story?

  1. Can it be verified?
  2. Read beyond the headlines
  3. Check the author
  4. What's the support?
  5. Check the date
  6. Is this some kind of joke?
  7. Check your biases
  8. Consult the experts

What Is Peer Review?

The peer review system was developed to guard against fraudulent research and statements. Peer review is standard practice at the academic world and professions such as law and medicine.

Oxford English Dictionary - "The review of commercial, professional, or academic efficiency, competence, etc., by others in the same occupation."

Wikipedia - "Peer review is the evaluation of work by one or more people of similar competence to the producers of the work (peers). It constitutes a form of self-regulation by qualified members of a profession within the relevant field."