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News Literacy Toolkit

Fact Checking

Fact checking is one way to identify fake or misleading news. Resources on this page can help readers evaluate news sources for accuracy and bias. 

Fact-Checking Sources

Politifact: Fact-checking website that rates the accuracy of claims made by elected officials and others who discuss politics. Run by editors and reports of the Tampa Bay Times, an independent Florida newspaper. A nonpartisan, nonprofit consumer advocate for voters that monitors the accuracy of statements made by major political players in the U.S. Online reference source for rumors and misinformation.

Pew Research Center: "A nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world." It does "public opinion polling, demographic research, content analysis and other data-driven social science research."

Washington Post Fact Checker


Locate legislation:

Allsides: Compares news coverage from left, right, and center sources

List of False, Misleading "News" Sources (by Merrimack College Communication Professor Melissa Zimdars; more on Zimdars' project)

News Media "Watchdogs"

These sources are media watch groups that report on misleading news and seek to prevent inaccurate and misleadning news.   

Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR): A national media watch groups. Offers documented criticism of media bias and censorship and works for free speech and greater diversity in the press.

CounterSpin: Weekly radio show that critically examines major news stories and that addresses issues that mainstream media may not have addressed. Seeks to explore biased and inaccurate news and censored stories.

On the Media: Weekly radio show on how the media shapes our world view (from WNYC)

ProPublica: An independent, non-profit investigative journalism newsroom. Seeks to exposee exploitation and to serve the public interest. 

Fact Checking Tips

These 3 tips are adapted from Mike Caulfield’s excellent book Web Literacy for Student Fact Checkers (2017):

  1. Search for previous fact-checking on a news story or news source via a DuckDuckGo Search.
    Example search:

    Denver Guardian ( OR OR
  2. Locate references to a site that are external to the site itself. Other sources descriptions of a site may help you check its credibility.
    For example, in Google search:
  3. Check WHOIS to identify a website domain’s administrator. If the site administrator is unknown or their authority questionable, the source may not be reliable.

More tips: "Fake news or real? How to Self-Check the News and Get the Facts" (NPR, December 5, 2016)

The infographic below, from Indiana University East's "Fake News" Guide is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Creative Commons License