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Journalism and Communication Resources

Overview of library resources to support the curriculum of the Department of Journalism and Communication

Information Literacy

Information literacy is the ability be able to identify:

  • what information you need
    • what's your thesis statement?
    • what question are you trying to support?
  • where to locate that information
    • how to search and find library sources
    • how to sort through websites
    • how to obtain primary sources like interviews and historical documents
  • how to evaluate that information 
    • what sources are known to be accurate and factual
    • what socioeconomic contexts surround your interview subject
  • how to effectively use that information for the task at hand (reporting, research, debate)

Why is this important? Because it will help gather the most up-to-date, factual information in the most efficient way.  You will be able to present that information in effective manner to support your research and reporting, and allow others to expand on that work. 


Use the CRAAP Test to check the reliability of your resources.

CRAAP Test: Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, and Purpose


Four Moves for Fact-checking

Here are four steps to checking the accuracy and validity of what you're reading and seeing from Mike Caulfield's free online guide, Web Literacy for Student Factcheckers

  • Check for previous work: Look around to see if someone else has already fact-checked the claim or provided a synthesis of research.
  • Go upstream to the source: Go “upstream” to the source of the claim. Most web content is not original. Get to the original source to understand the trustworthiness of the information.
  • Read laterally: Read laterally.[1] Once you get to the source of a claim, read what other people say about the source (publication, author, etc.). The truth is in the network.
  • Circle back: If you get lost, hit dead ends, or find yourself going down an increasingly confusing rabbit hole, back up and start over knowing what you know now. You’re likely to take a more informed path with different search terms and better decisions.

Fact Checkers Image Search Further Reading


SciCheck (a part of

Global Fact-Checking Database (a fact-checker of fact-checkers from Duke Reporters Lab)

Google Image


First Draft Visual Reference Guide

How do I know that information is reliable? 

Ten Questions for Fake News Detection

From Digital Resource Center, Center for News Literacy, Stony Brook University:

From First Draft: 

Consuming News

How do you sort through the huge swath of information we are inundated with everyday? What's fact and what's opinion?

  • Read multiple outlets.
  • In breaking news situations, wait for full details to emerge. 
  • Be aware of indefinite language such as 'likely' or 'probably' that can indicate opinion or supposition rather than factual reporting.
  • Be aware of when and how anonymous sources are used.
  • Verify before you share.


Media Ethics

The Poynter KSU Media Ethics Workshop offers one-day discussions and trainings for media professionals. You can find videos of panels and lectures on topics including fake news and data mining.