Triangulating evidence in your news is one way in which you can fact check breaking reports from the press.
When an event breaks choose at least three trustworthy professional outlets for journalism. The BBC, Washington Post, and New York Times all follow strict Journalism Code of Ethics. Look up the reporting on the event in three sites to see what evidence is repeated in each. For further vetting, wait twenty four hours after the event and repeat the triangulating exercise.
When evaluating sources, keep these definitions in mind. If you find yourself gravitating to bias sources that agree with your hypothesis, opinion, and/or belief, this is a red flag to seek out objective information in order to research your topic holistically. Who knows? Your original opinion might be wrong!
The following definitions will help students in assessing viewpoint.
Bias: Prejudice or preconceived notion that causes a person to favor one person or side of the debate over another. In other words, a bending of facts, cherry-picking of facts, or a complete fabrication of information in order to fit a preconceived narrative.
Confirmation bias: When conducting research, this is your natural inclination to give more weight to information and arguments that agree with your own original opinions and/or beliefs.
Moderate: Holding views that are neither excessive nor extreme.
Neutral: Not aligned with any side in a controversy, or with a particular political or ideological group.
Objective: Without bias. An objective position aims to be based on fact, rather than on personal feelings or prejudices.
Subjective: With bias or preconceived views. A subjective opinion is more affected by personal viewpoint or experiences than by fact.
Source: “Exploring Point of View .” World News Digest. Infobase Learning, n.d. Web. 10 Feb. 2017. <http://wnd.infobaselearning.com/recordurl.aspx?wid=101092&nid=485001&umbtype=0>.
Identify emotions attached to topic.
Find unbiased reference sources for proper review of topic. (Go to Credo Reference.)
Intellectual courage to seek authoritative voices on topic that may be outside of thesis.
Authority established. Does the author have education and experience in that field?
Purpose/Point of view of source. Does the author have an agenda beyond education or information?
Publisher? Does the publisher have an agenda?
List of sources (bibliography). Is the evidence sound?
Year of publication. Does the year of publication effect the information?