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Information and Media Literacy

Use this guide to better understand how to evaluate the reliability/credibility of a source

What is Information Literacy and Why does it Matter?

  • Information literacy is your ability to evaluate information, determine how credible that information is, and apply that information in context.

  • Being information literate allows you to determine what information is trustworthy and what is suspicious or false.

    • This lets you make more informed choices and less likely to fall victim to mis/disinformation

Strategies for Evaluating Information

  • Double-check
    • For any source you're looking at, check the information on a different website.
    • Does the information you're looking at cite anything? Do those sources look legitimate? Are those sources' findings accurately represented?
    • Look up information about the authors, publishers, organization involved by going to resources not affiliated with them. But be sure to consider their potential biases and credibility, too!
  • Consider biases
    • Do the authors have a special interest in this project?
    • Could funding have impacted how authors presented their findings?
  • What's the source's purpose?
    • Is this a source meant to be serious? Is it satirical? Does the source appear to be fake news?
  • How current is the source?
    • Could the information be outdated?
    • Is the information too new to be supported by others?
  • Does it appear to be click-bait?
    • If yes, be aware that it's probably trying to make you emotional. If you feel emotional, you're less likely to question what they're saying. 
  • Are the conclusion supported? Do you think the claims made are reasonable given the evidence presented?