In a political climate where sharing fake news has become commonplace, it’s more important than ever to rely on trustworthy and dogged fact-checking services to vet information.
Our job as citizens requires more than just being informed. We must also be vigilant about verifying information before posting it on social media. While taking a second look at claims made by politicians and even journalists is a start, we still can’t outsource our brains and our judgment, says Tessa Jolls, president of the Center for Media Literacy. “In my view, we have to look as critically at the fact-checking sites as we do the news articles themselves,” she says.
A good fact-checking site uses neutral wording, provides unbiased sources to support its claims and reliable links, says Frank Baker, author of Media Literacy in the K-12Classroom and creator of the Media Literacy Clearinghouse. He adds, “Readers should apply the same critical thinking/questioning to fact-check sites.”