• How to evaluate a source


    Why do I have to evaluate my sources?

    Just like you need to check the expiration date on food before you eat it, you need to check that your informaiton is reputable before you consume it.

    We live in a time where access to information is high, and the creation of information is rapid. That is a great thing! But it also means that we have information coming at us from all directions, all the time. Unfortunately, not all the information available to us is reputable, true, accurate, well researched, confirmed, valid, believable, honest, useful, etc.

    Lucikly, it is not difficult or time consuming to check your sources. It should only take 1-3 minutes per source.

    What to Evaluate For?

    1. Identify the "SOURCE"
      1. Who is hosting or providing the information? (a person or an organization)
    2. Evaluate the "SOURCE" 
      1. If source is an organization: check the source's bias and reputation for credibility
      2. If source is a person: Identify qualifications and biases (if possible) of the person

    How to Evaluate? Lateral Reading!

    You want to be sure you are finding out about your source from a different source. We should not be relying on the source to tell us about itself.

    3 Helpful Sites for Evaluating a Source:

    1. Wikipedia - Wikipedia is a great way to check out a source, see what Wiki says about it (look for red flags)
    2. MediaBiasFactCheck - This website is awesome for checking the biases and reputation associated with news sources. It will give you info about the source's political leanings and reputation which helps you decide if your source is reliable.
    3. Open Secrets. Tracks how much and where candidates get their money.
    4. WHOis.net - find out who owns a website or domain name. You can then search for that person or organization's reputation and biases.
    5. Google - you can always google the name of your source + the word "reputation" or "reliable" and see if any other sources provide that info on your source

    Miss Bogan's Examples: