Skip to Main Content

Fake News & Evaluating Information: Evaluating News

This guide will help you to verify and utilize fact-based news resources for research purposes.

How to Analyze News Sources

Tips for analyzing the site:

  • Avoid websites that end in “lo” ex: Newslo. These sites take pieces of accurate information and then packaging that information with other false or misleading “facts” (sometimes for the purposes of satire or comedy).

  • Watch out for websites that end in “” They are often fake versions of real news sources.

  • Odd domain names generally lead to odd and rarely truthful news.

  • Bad web design and use of ALL CAPS. These can also be a sign that the source you’re looking at should be verified and/or read in conjunction with other sources.

  • The website you’re using encourages you to dox individuals. Doxing is searching for and publishing private or identifying information about someone on the Internet, typically with malicious intent.

  • Lack of author attribution. This may, but not always, signify that the news story is suspect and requires verification.

  • Watch out for bloggers posting under news brands. Some news organizations are letting bloggers post under the banner of particular news brands. However, many of these posts do not go through the same editing process (ex: BuzzFeed Community Posts, Kinja blogs, Forbes blogs).

  • Check the “About Us” tab on websites. Users can look up the website on Snopes or Wikipedia for more information about the source.


Tips for analyzing the article:

  • Watch out if known/reputable news sites are not also reporting on the story. Sometimes lack of coverage is the result of corporate media bias and other factors, but there should typically be more than one source reporting on a topic or event.

  • The story makes you REALLY ANGRY. If this happens, it’s probably a good idea to keep reading about the topic via other sources to make sure the story you read wasn’t purposefully trying to make you angry (with potentially misleading or false information) in order to generate shares and ad revenue.

  • Read multiple sources of information to get a variety of viewpoints and media frames. Some sources, such as The Daily Kos, The Huffington Post, and Fox News, alternate between providing important, legitimate, problematic, and/or hyperbolic news coverage, requiring readers and viewers to verify and contextualize information with other sources.


Fact Checking Sites "A nonpartisan, nonprofit 'consumer advocate' for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics. We monitor the factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players in the form of TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews and news releases. Our goal is to apply the best practices of both journalism and scholarship, and to increase public knowledge and understanding."

SciCheck: This site "focuses exclusively on false and misleading scientific claims that are made by partisans to influence public policy."

Politifact: "Fact-checking journalism is the heart of PolitiFact. Our core principles are independence, transparency, fairness, thorough reporting and clear writing. The reason we publish is to give citizens the information they need to govern themselves in a democracy."

Snopes: "Snopes’ fact-checking and original, investigative reporting lights the way to evidence-based and contextualized analysis. We always link to and document our sources so readers are empowered to do independent research and make up their own minds."

All Sides: "We expose people to information and ideas from all sides of the political spectrum so they can better understand the world — and each other. We serve news consumers here at and provide patented technologies, tools and services to media companies, nonprofits, businesses and other organizations."

Open Secrets: "The nation's premier research group tracking money in U.S. politics and its effect on elections and public policy. Our mission is to track the flow of money in American politics and provide the data and analysis to strengthen democracy."

Web sources can be particularly hard to evaluate, so here is a handy acronym to help you determine if a source may be CRAAP. The CRAAP test is an acronym to use when evaluating an online source to identify if it is fake news.