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Media Literacy: News

Media literacy is the ability to access, analyze, evaluate, and create media. Media literate youth and adults are better able to understand the complex messages we receive from television, radio, Internet, newspapers, magazines, and other forms of media.

Media Literacy Tutorial

Media Literacy Tutorial


Fake News

In a Huffington Post story entitled How to Recognize a Fake News Story dated Nov. 22, 2016, the author lists nine things to look for:


  • Watch out for websites that end in “” as they are often fake versions of real news sources 

  • Watch out if known/reputable news sites are not also reporting on the story. There should typically be more than one source reporting on a topic or event.

  • Odd domain names generally equal odd and rarely truthful news.

  • Lack of author attribution may, but not always, signify that the news story is suspect.

  • Some news organizations are also letting bloggers post under the banner of particular news brands; however, many of these posts do not go through the same editing process (ex: BuzzFeed Community Posts, Kinja blogs, Forbes blogs).

  • Check the “About Us” tab on websites or look up the website on Snopes or Wikipedia for more information about the source.

  • Bad web design and use of ALL CAPS can also be a sign that the source you’re looking at should be verified and/or read in conjunction with other sources.

  • If the story makes you REALLY ANGRY it’s probably a good idea to keep reading about the topic via other sources.

  • If the website you’re reading encourages you to DOX individuals, avoid it.


media bias chart January 2024 Media Chart


Information Literacy Concepts

Fake Videos

Nearly all of us have been taken in by a video that was later found to have been doctored or faked. It is fairly easy to edit a video so that it looks like you made the basket or the hawk picked up the snake. Here are some of the most famous faked videos that fooled millions:

These Viral Videos Were Fake?!

Some tips to help you tell if a video is fake:

The Physics of Fake Videos

Tracker: The Free Video Analysis Tool

How to Verify a YouTube Video

How Fake News Goes Viral

This case study was published in The New York Times on November 11, 2016.

LibGuide Authors

This LibGuide was created by Ann Grandmaison and Susan Leonardi, Reference Librarians at Northern Essex Community College in Haverhill and Lawrence MA.  Thanks to these authors for letting us borrow this material!