The era of Walter Cronkite and a handful of news sources where the majority of Americans get their information is long gone. Today’s media landscape is large and fragmented. Media has also become loosely defined, with conspiracy theory outlets such as InfoWars competing with more traditional media such as The New York Times.
We believe that the best tool for checking the reputability of news outlets is Media Bias/Fact Check (MBFC News). MBFC News is an independent media outlet that uses a scale to show degrees of bias. In addition to categorizing media as left and right biased MBFC News also has sections for Pro-Science, Conspiracy-Pseudoscience, Questionable Sources, and Satire.
For a list of fact checking sites, see this MBFC News article on The 10 Best Fact Checking Sites. Snopes, the internet standby for fact-checking is on there, as well as sites with specific political focuses such as PolitiFact and The Sunlight Foundation.
Fact checking is useful for not only determining whether what others have posted is accurate, but also for determining whether your own claims are accurate. In order to have the moral high-ground we have to make sure our own claims are substantiated.
Here’s an easy system for checking facts
- Visit MBFC News to see how the media outlet posting the fact is categorized.
- Visit one of the fact checking sites like Snopes to search for the individual fact.
- If from a questionable source and/or clearly false proceed to debunk the fact.