4 – HOW DO YOU CHECK INFORMATION?
Nowadays, information available online is shared just as much by reliable sources and professional journalists as by people who manipulate facts and produce fake news. This is why it has become essential in the digital world to be able to tell the difference between truth and fiction.
There are some simple questions to ask yourself to assess a news item’s quality and relevance, as well as the reliability of the source. Before you even start reading an article or watching a video, you need to take a moment to think critically and ask yourself:
- Who wrote this document? Is the author an expert on the topic?
- What kind of website or publisher is this?
- Where did this information come from? Are the sources cited?
- When was the item posted?
- What are the site’s goals: To sell something? To inform? Convince? Frighten?
In addition, to increase its reliability and chances of being considered correct, a news item should be confirmed by other sources of information and/or found on other media. We say that the information must be corroborated in order to be verified.
CASE IN POINT
Independent media is one of the best ways of getting reliable news. Independent media engage in professional journalism, meaning they are committed to producing ‘high-quality, complete, free, independent, and pluralist’ news.
Many independent media outlets in the Balkans meet these criteria, including:
- Al Jazeera Balkans (BCMS): http://balkans.aljazeera.net/
- Bilten (BCMS): https://www.bilten.org/
- Balkan Insight (English): https://balkaninsight.com/
- BIRN (English): https://birn.eu.com/
- Lapsi.al (Albanian): https://lapsi.al/
- Oslobodjenje (BCMS): https://www.oslobodjenje.ba/
To discover more independent media outlets in the Balkans region, you can go to the ‘Independent media’ section of the Talmil platform (link).