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ENGL 1020: Fake News (Shifferd): Reputable Journalism

AUM Library News Databases

Many news articles and information sources will contain a point of view. Information consumers should read with an open and critical mind. 

Fake News on Legitimate News Websites

Screenshot of the phrase sponsored stories, indicating the articles are advertisements

Beware of "Sponsored Stories," "Promoted Stories," and "Around the Web" content on legitimate news websites!

The Code of Ethics by the Society of Professional Journalists declares that ethical journalists should "distinguish news from advertising and shun hybrids that blur the lines between the two” and “prominently label sponsored content.”

Recognizing the difference between news reporting and paid content by advertisers is key to challenging fake news. Check to see if content is marked as promoted, sponsored, or as an advertisement.

Sign saying Do Not Click

When it comes to fighting clickbait and fake news, the best way to outfox advertisers and their algorithms is to simply refuse to click.

Maheshwari, Sapna, and John Herrman. "Publishers are Rethinking those ‘Around the Web’ Ads." New York Times, Oct 30 2016,

Selection of International News Sources

Selection of Generally Trustworthy Sources for News & Information

Official US government sources:

Independent news outlets:

  • AP News - Not-for-profit news cooperative covering worldwide breaking news and investigative reporting
  • C-SPAN - Coverage of unedited political and non-political public policy events, interviews and historical programs
  • Reuters - Reuters' editorial policy states: "We are committed to reporting the facts and in all situations avoid the use of emotive terms. The only exception is when we are quoting someone directly or in indirect speech."

Evaluating Websites with Criteria and Tools

Evaluating websites with criteria and tools. Determining quality in the World Wide Web. 1. Author credentials. Who is the author, publisher, or sponsor? Are credentials given? Does the URL reveal anything about the source? 2. Reliability. Where does information come from? Is it supported by evidence? Has the information been reviewed? Does the tone seem biased? 3. Purpose of use. What is the purpose of the information? Does the author make intentions clear? Is the point of view clear and impartial? 4. Currency. When was it published? Has the information been revised? Does your topic require more recent material? Are the links functional? 5. Relevance. Does the site relate to the topic? Does it answer your questions? Who is the audience? Should you cite this on a reference page?


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