We aren’t here to point fingers- but as we round out our ninth day of the US Government shutdown, it’s often hard to know which posts on the net: inform, which are playing the blame game, and which are simply political propaganda. Remember not all information is created equal. Here are eight easy questions to help you determine whether you are reading a reliable source:
1. What’s the author’s credentials and reputation?
Obviously some people are more qualified than others to inform in an unbiased manner and on specific topics.
2. Is the info associated with a specific publisher or organization?
Many publishers and organizations are openly biased in their information and support one group of facts over another.
3. Does the author state a goal for the publication (to inform, explain, or advocate)?
This can help to weed out opinion from actual fact.
4. Is there a commitment to a specific point of view, or are both sides of the issue presented?
Normally, the more points of views addressed, the more informative, and the least biased.
5. Is the information well researched with sources cited?
It’s important that your information is fact, not just hearsay.
6. Is it a quality source?
Normally if there are misspellings, bad grammar, and no logical structure, it’s not a good source.
7. Is it current?
Some info is old news and is no longer relevant.
8. Is it relevant to the topic?
Some informants push their opinions by using facts that have nothing to do with the topic at hand.