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QEN 101: Hashtag This

A guide to basic information sources for the Hashtag This class, QEN 101.

Fake News Overview

Fake news has become a larger topic of conversation. Where and how we get our news has greatly expanded and it has become even more fragmented. There are more sites promoting fake news with claims that are not backed up with evidence. There are also fake news sites that are legitimate that are available for parody like the Onion. When looking at news you have to treat it as if you are trying to evaluate information for research. You have to ask yourself the questions about who is reporting the story, what are the basis of the claims, and use the criteria for evaluating information to see if the news story presented is true. It is a good idea to look at all news organizations more critically, at the stories they present, and the people who are presenting the news. On this page you will find information and stories about fake news and how to critically look at information and postings on social media.



Here are some ways to avoid fake news and below are links on how you can avoid fake news.

  • Use the criteria for evaluating information: Accuracy, Authority, Objective, Currency, and Coverage.
  • Look at the domain name and the URL: News organizations typically own their own domain name.
  • Check the credentials of the author.
  • Check the links of the article: See if the information leads to credible sources.
  • Look at the date and see when it was written.
  • Look at the comments that are listed below the story.
  • Open a second window and research the claims that are written in the story.
  • Check your own biases: Sometimes we tend to look at information in the prism of our own beliefs. 


Fake News Quiz

The New York Times has created a quiz about fake news called Can You Spot the Deceptive Facebook Post?  You will be presented with a series of 2 different Facebook posts about the same topic and you must guess which one is fake and which one is legitimate.  See if you can guess correctly?!  

Journalism Codes of Ethics

National Public Radio (NPR) Standards of Journalism:

  • Accuracy
  • Fairness
  • Completeness
  • Honesty
  • Independence
  • Impartiality
  • Transparency
  • Accountability
  • Respect
  • Excellence

New York Times Code of Ethics:

  • Fairness
  • Integrity
  • Truth

New York University (NYU) Journalism Handbook for Students

  • Integrity
  • Human Sources
  • Research Materials & Copyright
  • Privacy vs. The Public's Right to Know
  • Potential Conflicts of Interest
  • Legal
  • Points of View
  • Cardinal Sins
  • Social Media

Fact Checking Websites