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Fake News

What is fake news? Why should you care? How can you avoid it? Find out all this and more, in the UVic Libraries Fake News Guide.

Characteristics of authoritative news

Knowing what news to avoid is only half the battle. Part of developing good information and media literacy skills is learning to recognize non-fake or authoritative news. Here are some tips on what to look for in authoritative news sources:

  • Publish corrections, retractions, and apologies when errors are reported
  • Grammatically correct, spelling error-free text
  • Reports both for and against an idea
  • Identify sources when possible
  • Consult appropriate sources for the news being reported (e.g., experts, reputable organizations, etc.) 
  • Author is identified
  • Headline matches the content of the article

How to get authoritative information

Get authoritative information by:

  • Reading original research and reports, rather than the articles summarizing them
  • Following reporters on social media to get information about events directly from those on the scene
  • Giving breaking news time to develop, rather than trying to follow continuous coverage
  • Comparing a variety of sources to see if the facts line up

Journalism ethics

Journalists reporting credible news adhere to a code of ethics. Many major media outlets and journalism organizations will have their own version of guidelines that they follow, but reputable journalists will all respect similar principles.

The Canadian Association of Journalism’s Ethics Guidelines outlines principles related to:

  • Accuracy
  • Fairness
  • Independence
  • Transparency
  • Promises to sources
  • Diversity
  • Accountability
  • Digital media

CBC’s Journalistic Standards and Practices serves as an ethical framework for their reporting, and highlights their principles of:

  • Accuracy
  • Fairness
  • Balance
  • Impartiality
  • Integrity
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