Fact Checking: How to Uncover the Truth


Photo courtesy: Stefani Reynolds/ Bloomberg/ Getty Images Preparing for the upcoming election by fact checking information.

Mary Grace Weissauer and Emily Jankura

     In today’s society it is more important than ever to cite your source. Whatever you may be looking up, the internet has a lot of information, bias, and misinformation. 

     During a presentation from CCSU ( Central Connecticut State University) in , Politifact representative and editor, Katie Sanders explained in a Q&A how in order to present information to multiple people, they need to make sure everything is true and correct before saying anything. 

     Politifact, started in 2007 by the Poynter Institute for Media Studies is one of the top ten cites by Explore Digital Media Literacy that is credible. Sanders works for both the Tampa Bay Times and the Miami Herald.

     In addition to ensuring articles and pieces of information are credible, when it comes to politics, they also must be very accurate. If a candidate was to release unreliable information or incorrect ideas, they would lose credibility and lessen their credentials. 

     History teacher, Mr. Frank Tupka explains his views on this topic, “Fact checking is very important in politics. President Reagan used to say “trust, but verify” and that seems just as true today as it did nearly 40 years ago. We also need to be aware that when fact checking, be careful to not take a quote out of context.”

     He continued to explain the connection to real life situations in saying, “In the age of the internet, it is very easy to edit a clip or quote down to remove the context for dishonest purposes. I personally prefer to watch speeches and press conferences over news programs so that I can form my own opinion without having others trying to shape it for me.”

     With the presidential election results not released yet, people needed to take information from numerous sources and be careful with what they share.Every comment should have been taken into consideration and interpreted before resharing on one’s social media pages.

     Senior, Daniya Chopra, agrees on the importance of fact checking when saying, “People can be easily swayed by information given to them. It is vital for campaigners to give accurate information to its voters rather than information that makes their candidate look good. This way voters can make quality decisions based on the correct facts given.”

     Although it is hard to know when information is correct or not, it is left up to the judgement of the person receiving the facts to determine if it is true or not. This can become an issue and hard task to believe one view over another, but it also should be the job of the person to ensure the piece of information is indeed true before releasing anything to others. Several sites that may help you fact check can be found here : Fact Checking Sites .

     Foran media specialist, Mrs. Jackie DeLoma is a resource for fact checking. Recently, her Peardeck presentation to journalism 1 covered media coverage of the Michael Brown case from 2014. Throughout the presentation, DeLoma stressed looking at the story from multiple perspectives and making sure a story is balanced. 

     During school and real life situations, in order to ensure the most accurate information is found on any topic, one must check and recheck. Vigilant readers should be aware of confirmation bias, the author’s background, and whether multiple news outlets are sharing the same information.