December 13, 2016

If you’re publishing content, you have a responsibility to verify your information before you share it with others.

But you don’t have to be cynical and assume everything is wrong.

Try being skeptical instead. Skepticism leads to better questions. It is the product of curiosity and critical thinking.

Some of the best questions to ask before publishing information include:

  • How do you know this to be true?
  • What does this really mean?
  • Who else knows this?
  • Is there any other way of looking at this?
  • Has it always been this way?
  • Who profits from things being as they are?
  • What motives might a source have to say this is true?
  • Does this claim seem reasonable?
  • Is the person making the claim willing to be questioned about it?

Taken from Sources, Verification and Credibility, a self-directed course at Poynter NewsU.

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Vicki Krueger has worked with The Poynter Institute for more than 20 years in roles from editor to director of interactive learning and her current…
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