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Finding the Truth

Seek and find accurate news and information.

How and where news is delivered has changed.  Read this report from the Pew Research Institute for more understanding of how we got here.   

Check Your Sources

How? Think it through and ask these savvy questions: 

• What is the source?
• Is it reliable?
• Is it biased?
• Is it satire?
• Is it a hoax or “clickbait” ? (unverified stories to get you to click so advertisers get paid)

Is This a Hoax?

One quick way to tell: if a source is a hoax, the url looks like a known source such as, but with an additional .co added, such as Check with Politifact for more on this and and lists of sites to avoid.

Fact Check your Information

• When reading a trusted site, still ask, what facts are provided? For further info, check facts with
• Is this a claim made by a political figure ? Check political statements or claims with
• Do you have questions about a photo used with a story? Photos can be taken from one source and used in an unrelated story as false support.  To find the original source of a photo, right click on it, then copy and paste the url from where it appears into Reverse image search to find the photo’s original source. Now you can tell if it has been misused! tineye is another site to use to check an image.
• Is this an opinion, how one person or group sees the event or situation, with facts used to support the opinion? If so, use the AllSides Media Chart to see the bias of the source where the opinion appeared. And turn to the Allsides Media Webpage for balanced news including views from all sides of a news item
• If this is an opinion, what facts support it? Again, check them with
• Snopes is a good place to check the quickly changing landscape of media topics
• Wondering if something is satire? This is a good place to check: While no list is comprehensive, this is a good start. You can type in the url you want to check and browse the archives.

Strengthen your Fact Checking Skills

• Want something smart and fun to check your nose for inaccurate news? Challenge yourself to find the true news story with Factitious.
• Among the most bizarre newer developments are deepfakes, where artificial intelligence – AI – morphs an actual picture or video into something that can fool millions into believing the deception.
• Help your grandparents and parents handle their social media with the finesse of a kid with these tips!

NewsLiteracyProject helps readers and listeners  develop skills to help ensure that they are getting to the truth through digital verification.  Choose from
• The eLearning platform Checkology
• The newsletter Get Smart About News
• The app Informable
• The podcast Is That a Fact?

Also there is a fairly new website,  Viral Image , which will fact check social media stories that contain pictures

In Conclusion

All of the above can help you determine the truth.  Quickly check and find out if this could this be:
• a hoax?
• propaganda?
• deliberate false statements?
• a biased presentation of a situation that is not very simple?
• sloppy reporting of an event or statement, causing misunderstanding?
• satire? Is this piece not even intended to be true? Be careful, some sound good enough to be true, but don’t be “that guy” who re-posts satire as truth on a Facebook page.

Helpful Books to Help Find the Truth

Mansfield/Richland County Public Library subject guides are assembled by our reference team. Please contact the reference department at 419.521.3110 if you would like more help with this subject.
Updated 08/11/2022