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News literacy: Finding more credible information for yourself

When you’re reading or watching the news, information comes at you fast. It’s important to ask yourself if it’s all credible.

AUSTIN, Texas — As reporters, our job is to find credible information and deliver it to you.

We realize that you might want to find that information for yourself or double-check it if it sounds too salacious to be true.

“If I hear something that seems provocative or startling or shocking, I will just do a quick Google search and see if I can find it in multiple places,” said Gina Masullo, associate director of the Center for Media Engagement at the University of Texas at Austin.

Other tips:

  • Use a fact-checking site like PolitiFact or Snopes
  • Try looking in a few places for the same headline

“If you see it in multiple places, it increases the likelihood that it's true, but only if those multiple places are sites that you already have a preexisting trust relationship with,” Masullo said.

Sometimes, it might be hard to find the same information in multiple places.

“The way the news works, one outlet may break a big story, and so for a brief moment of time, they may be the only ones who have it,” Masullo said.

If the reporting is indeed true, other news organizations will eventually report it as well. But if you only see it in one place, experts suggest being skeptical until others follow suit.

We want to hear from you with your questions about how news is gathered and then reported to you. Text KVUE at 512-459-9442 or email bnewberry@kvue.com.