There are a lot of websites out there. And there are a lot of websites promising to deliver you news. And even those you recognize vary in how reliable they are at distinguishing fact from rumor.
So how do you set yourself up to get the highest quality of information from your news sources?
Here are the top five ways to find trustworthy news:
1. Ask yourself: Are you familiar with the source? If you’re unfamiliar, look for signs of reliability. Is it owned by a familiar organization? Does it cover itself in clickbait ads? Do its other stories look like the kinds of things you’d expect from a reasonable source?
2. Diversify your sources. If a claim seems hard to believe or too good to be true, look to see who else is reporting it. Don’t get all your news from Facebook or Yahoo’s home page. Look around a bit.
3. Look at where your source is getting its information. Is there an actual press release or a conference statement? Or is it “sources say”? If so, how many sources? And what’s the track record of that news outlet on anonymously-sourced stories?
4. Read the whole story, not just the headline. Ask questions! Does the rest of the story fit facts? Sometimes an exaggerated story will also make other claims that you already know are not true.
5. Follow up. If an article says that something may be true, keep an eye out for confirmation that it is. Don’t just accept it as done. Mergers and acquisitions often get reported before they happen, and then sometimes they don’t.
Hopefully these tips will help you get a higher level of signal to noise and keep you smarter about what’s really happening out there!