Questions to ask when you come across new information (thread):

• Is this information attributed to anyone? If not, why not?
• Is this source reliable? What is its track record with the truth?
• How is it funded?
• Does all of its output deal with just one, /1
or a small range of topics? Are these overtly political?
• Is the writer reputable? What else has he/she written? Is he/she approvingly quoted by other respected authorities?
• What are his/her journalistic credentials?
• What qualifications or experience does he/she have /2
in this field?
• Are the grammar, spelling and punctuation accurate? Are the words used in their correct senses?
• If someone is sloppy with their language, how likely are they to be rigorous with their facts?
• Is the language littered with slogans and clichés? /3
• Is the language neutral and dry, or does it contain lots of subjective judgments - adjectives, adverbs, interpretations, speculations?
• Does the headline accurately reflect the content of the story?
• Check the date of publication of this message and any other version. /4
Is it recent?
• Does the picture or video accompanying the story occur elsewhere? Are there any differences between the two versions?
• If statistics are used, are they sound?
• Have any of the individuals mentioned in the article been approached for comment? /5
• Have any opposing voices been cited?
• Does the story give links to other sources that corroborate it?
• Has this information been reported anywhere else independently, ie with different words, a different focus and a different headline? Does the second source /6
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