Introduction to Human Rights: PLS/HRT 105: Evaluating Web and News Sources

Evaluating Web and News Sources

As a student, researcher, and consumer of information, you can grow your skills for evaluating and verifying the information and sources you use. This guide begins with videos that will give you skills and tools to use as you evaluate news sources for your class and beyond. You will also see the the SIFT method, which allows you to slow down and evaluate the information you see online. Then, you will find links to fact checking organizations and a chart that shows you the bias of popular news sources to help you evaluate sources for this class. 

Remember, the news sources you want to focus on for this class can be found on the front page of this guide.

SIFT: The Four Moves

Here is an overview of the four moves to help you evaluate web sources like a fact checker from Mike Caulfield, featured in the videos above. For a more detailed explanation, visit Mike Caulfield's website Hapgood.

1. Stop: Do you know the website or source of information? If not, use the other moves to find out. Do not read or share media until you do. Also, as you do the other moves, don't get overwhelmed or go down a rabbit hole. Stop, and remind yourself of your purpose.

2. Investigate the source: Do a quick search to find the source of the media. Knowing the expertise and the agenda of the source before you read the information will change your interpretation of it. 

3. Find trusted coverage: Find other sources that you trust on the same topic, or scan multiple sources to get more than one perspective.

4. Trace claims, quotes, and media back to the original source: This will allow you to see things within their original context.

Media Bias Chart

Fact-checking organizations

  • Last Updated: Sep 20, 2021 3:49 PM
  • URL: