One of the biggest issues people have when getting information online or from other media is uncovering whether the source of the information is one that they should trust. While it’s perfectly fine to consume media that has a particular standpoint, leaning, or agenda, it’s when these things are hidden that they become a real issue.
So to help ensure that you know exactly what you’re reading or consuming, here are three ways you can tell if an article or other content is trustworthy.
The Headline Matches The Content
Sadly, a lot of content producers are really only interested in getting as many people to click through to their content as they possibly can. But in order to get their result, they will sometimes create headlines for content that don’t really match or aren’t actually the type of content that you’ll find once you click through. So if you go to read something that doesn’t end up matching what the headline was, it’s a safe assumption to make that the writer or publisher was only trying to get you to click on their link through whatever means necessary. And if this is the case, you likely can’t trust what they’re saying.
You Can See Their Bias
There are quite a few ways you can analyze a piece of content to see if there is bias there.
To help you do this, Vanessa Otero, a contributor to InfoBase.com, suggests looking at the language, the political leaning, and how that content stands up next to other pieces written about similar things. If any of these areas feels off to you, or if you can obviously see where the person writing or creating this content has shown their own bias, you can probably assume that the content will be biased in one way or another. While this doesn’t necessarily mean that the content automatically can’t be trusted, it’s good to know a bias before you believe everything that’s being shared with you.
The Purpose Of The Article Is To Convey Information
A lot of content, especially news content, has moved from delivering just the facts of the news to sharing opinions about the facts of the news. This can be hard to determine, but there are ways of doing so.
One thing you can do, according to Rutgers University, is to think about what the purpose of that content was. If the purpose was to merely convey information, then this may be a trustworthy piece of content. But if you can tell that the content is trying to get you to think a certain way, you should be careful about how much you trust what’s being told to you.
Finding trustworthy, credible, and reliable sources of information can be a challenge. So to help you see if what you’re consuming falls into these categories, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you evaluate what you read or watch.