Fake News

Trocaire College Libraries


Tips on spotting fake news

Investigate the news source: The first thing you should do is answer the following questions about the news source. Does the news source seem credible? Who's the author? Is the news source known for having a political bias or agenda? Does the news source have a reputation for providing good reporting? Is the article that you're reading a news article or an opinion?

Check the sources: It's also important to see where the news source is getting their information from. Make sure that their source is trustworthy and that they aren't misrepresenting what the original source said.

Use a fact checker: See if the story was investigated by a fact checking website and read what they have to say about it.

Read a second or third news source: Take a look at how other news sources reported on the story.


Fact Checkers

Fact checking websites review popular news stories and claims made by celebrities, politicians, and journalists. Most fact checking sites explain how they came up with their rating and show where they got their information from so that you can decide on your own whether you agree with their decision or not.


Authors and news sources often have biases that affect what and how they discuss a topic. Biased sources will often leave out facts that contradicts or frame facts that support their views. A bias news source isn't necessarily wrong, and some news sources that are seen as bias can be more or less bias than others.

How do I check for biased information?

The first thing you can do is check the news source to see if they have a stated agenda or viewpoint on their website. You can also check the name of the news source to see if it suggests a certain point of view. It can also be a good idea to try and find out who the owner of a news source is.

It's also important to see who the author of the article is. Many websites will give you a brief biography of an author at the end of an article or somewhere else on their website. If you can't find anything, try doing a quick google search on the author to see if anything comes up.

Can someone check for me?

There are several resources available to help you evaluate a news sources particular bias or trustworthiness.

AllSides is a website that presents news stories from different parts of the political spectrum. You can also search for a specific news source and see how it was rated.

Media Bias/Fact Check is a database containing lists of news sources based on political bias and the trustworthiness of the sources used in their articles.

Opposing Viewpoints won't tell you the bias of a particular news source, but it will give you resources about both sides of a particular issue.

Reliable News Sources Available to Trocaire Students, Faculty, and Staff.

There are several reliable news sources available to Trocaire students, staff, and faculty. These news sources are generally viewed as having quality reporting however, that does not mean that they are without bias.

The New York Times is accessible to anyone on the Trocaire network and can be subscribed to for free with a valid Trocaire email address. The New York Times is also considered to be a Newspaper of Record meaning that it has a long history of detailed reporting, accountability, and a rigorous editorial process.

The Buffalo News is available in print at both the Choate and Transit road libraries. Librarians also have access to the digital version and can retrieve specific articles for students, staff, and faculty.

The Chronicle of Higher Education is accessible to anyone on the Trocaire network or anyone with a valid Trocaire username and password.

Buffalo Business First is accessible to anyone on the Trocaire network or anyone with a valid Trocaire username and password.

Library Books on Fake News

Other Resources

Play the online game Bad News: take on the role of a fake news monger and learn how fake news is made.

Can you spot the fake posts? Take the quiz from The New York Times.

Test your fake news detecting skills with the News Literacy Quiz

Want to learn more about how to fact check and spot fake news? Try checking out the free ebook Web Literacy for Student Fact-Checkers.
Created by Josh Rakower, ME, MLS, Electronic Resources and Information Literacy Librarian. Fall 2017, Updated Spring 2019