Information rains down on modern man from all sides. If you believe everything, you can completely lose your orientation and get lost. Everything that comes from the outside should be questioned and carefully analyzed. And not only the news itself, but also its source. Let’s see how to check the reliability of information with simple manipulations.
Types of information sources
The first thing to do is determine who or what generated the news.
- Your reality. Anything you saw with your own eyes or heard with your ears.
- Document. We tend to trust documents. Even if they are fake, it can be very difficult to argue with them.
- Official media: Federal television stations, printed publications, websites.
- Publications with the specified output data. We are talking about books, articles, information in textbooks and manuals.
- Person. Your relative, friend, acquaintance, or media personality. It is important that you heard the information directly from the person’s mouth. “They say she said…” – does not matter.
- News portals, thematic sites, YouTube channels.
- Social media. This also includes channels in messengers and comments under articles and videos.
It’s important to understand that lies can come even from a very reputable source, so you can only trust yourself. Moreover, when it comes to describing certain events, their evaluation is always subjective. But it is very hard to live without trusting anyone. Often one prefers to bathe in lies and rumors because it is easier and more interesting. This is what the gossip magazines are based on.
Classification of information sources
All of them can be:
- Reliable and unreliable.
- Competent and incompetent.
- It is preferable to trust the reliable and competent. Although the world is often turned upside down and the official media act from a position that is convenient for them.
Signs of a source’s credibility
That is, that the information it provides is 100% correct and accurate.
Pay attention to features of the source such as:
- Reputation. If the publication has been around for a long time, has no criticisms, and has not had time to be known as a cheerful tabloid, there is a high probability that it publishes the truth.
- Independence. Such a notion as engagement reflects the involvement of a source of information in some matter, and, as a consequence, the dependence of opinion. For this reason, the more independent a source is, the more credible it is.
- Publications are based on authoritative sources only. If it is a news portal that publishes information taken from another source or heard from someone else’s mouth, it must link to it and name the author. If it is a scientific fact, the relevant scientific work or document must be cited.
Algorithm of information verification for reliability
Before accepting news at face value, it must be analyzed:
- Assess how meaningful the information is to you personally. If it’s about a problem you can’t solve in any way, and it’s not in your area of interest, there’s no need to waste time figuring out what, where, and why. Sometimes such problems arise in studies, where you have to work with a lot of unknown information. Therefore, to get a quality assignment and a good grade students often turn to essay help.
- Identify the source. If it is an exalted or whining acquaintance of yours who is prone to exaggeration, it is best to let it pass. If the information came from a reputable source, it makes it with attention.
- Assess the objectivity of the information. If there is a lot of emotion in the text – it is a sign of subjectivity, which greatly reduces the credibility. If some point of view is expressed, find out more about the person who gave the assessment: how his opinion can be considered competent.
- Determine whether the publisher has an ulterior motive: why the publication posted the information, whether the message is not an advertisement, and if it is, it should be stated explicitly. Concealed advertising is dangerous because its author deliberately exaggerates the significance of an event or situation, thus contributing to a general panic. And, as a consequence, panic causes a person to want to buy a product that is declared to be necessary for the current circumstances.
- Check the same information with other reliable sources. If at least 3 publications say the same thing, what is written can likely be believed.
The last thing you should do is trust social networks. But to turn into a distrustful critic and an eternal grumbler about “everybody lies” is too much. It is better to adapt to the peculiarities of modern society and treat any information with a healthy dose of skepticism.
The development of critical thinking, which inclines a person to analyze everything, contributes to the study at the university.