Tips to fact-checking world news

The digital era has made a wide array of platforms for information to circulate. Social media alone can spread small moments from one corner of the world and turn them into world-wide phenomena. This is especially useful for viewing news that can affect economies and livelihood.

Unfortunately, a lot of people use modern technology to spread false information. Their goal is to either skew political views or confuse the public. Others are simply caused by misunderstanding by the people who try to share the information. If you are cautious of such instances, then here are some tips to check facts of any news spread around the world: 

Acknowledge the publisher’s political bias

The first tip that you need to understand is that everyone has a bias. It can be deliberately affecting how a narrator delivers the story in any medium to favour the validity of their opinion or political views. More often, however, the effect it has is subtle as the person delivering the news fails to acknowledge that the way they interpret events is skewed. 

Even verified sources like Oversabi can fall into this problem but that doesn’t undermine the story’s validity. It still successfully delivers one side of the fact and that is often enough for a casual consumer of information. The only way to get an unbiased reflection of reality is to be a first-hand witness and use various means to assess it from different angles. 

Read articles about the same topic from various publishers

Viewing facts from different angles is the best tip to verify accuracy of the story. If you cannot be a first-hand witness, then consider all of the interpretations from different people covering the events. Having a variety of narrators voice their interpretations of the same topic is bound to create a specific angle that uncovers what each other lacks. Thus, it gives you many perspectives to see a story as a three-dimensional fact that you can inspect. 

The only issue that you have to deal with is which source is delivering a first-hand interpretation of the events and how to differentiate it from a second-hand reteller. One of the signs you need to look for is the use of quotes, descriptions, and details. First-hand accounts typically quote lines word-per-word from the people involved and describe the events as they uncover. Retellers usually paraphrase reports of the events, thus, changing the order of how the story transpired as well as leaving details that they deemed irrelevant to the story. 

Watch footages if you have the time

Major events tend to have footage of people’s statements and of the places involved. They can only be found as montages of what is considered relevant by the reporter covering the stories. In other cases, people found archives of raw footages online for the world to see but this only happens with controversial topics. Going through raw materials is bound to be time-consuming so only do it if you are willing. Otherwise, focus on reports and blogs as references for fact-checking. 

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