MediaShift: Tools & Tips to Detect Fake News


How To Detect Fake News With These Tools and Techniques

Beth Jannery, Sept 7th 2017

Critical Thinking Model

  1. Read the headline.
  2. Read the entire article.
  3. Don’t believe a word of anything you read until you check facts and check sources.
  4. Are the sources and facts credible? Why or why not?
  5. Do a quick search engine scan to see who else has covered the story.
  6. Do you see two sides (or more) to the article?
  7. Are you being spun? Do you feel manipulated?
  8. Are other credible news outlets covering the story?
  9. Is this story a potential fake news story?

Yes, we have to teach our students these cognitive skills, but they can usually catch a fake story quickly once they learn to detect on their own.

Beth Jannery is the Director of Journalism for George Mason University’s Department of Communication. She’s author of the communication textbook What’s the Story? The Art of Writing and Communication. Twitter @Beth_Jannery or