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Media Literacy in Today's World: Fact Checking

Smell Test

SMELL test

S - Source

Where did it come from?  Who wrote it, published it, posted it?

M - Motivation

What are they trying to sell you? Who has what to gain (or lose)?

E- Evidence

Where'd they get their data? Says who?

L - Logic

Can you follow their train of thought? Do they commit logical fallacies?

L- Left Out

What aren't they telling you?  

Fact Checking Sites


Snopes claims to be "the definitive Internet reference source for urban legends, folklore, myths, rumors, and misinformation."


PolitiFact is a fact-checking website that rates the accuracy of claims by elected officials and others who speak up in American politics. PolitiFact is run by editors and reporters from The Tampa Bay Times, an independent newspaper in Florida... (from their web site)

We are a nonpartisan, nonprofit “consumer advocate” for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics. We monitor the factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players in the form of TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews and news releases. is a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. (from their web site)

Washington Post News Fact Checker

The purpose of this website, and an accompanying column in the Sunday print edition of The Washington Post, is to “truth squad” the statements of political figures regarding issues of great importance, be they national, international or local.


AllSides provides multiple perspectives on a single issue.


PunditFact is a project of The Tampa Bay Times and the Poynter Institute, dedicated to checking the accuracy of claims by pundits, columnists, bloggers, political analysts, the hosts and guests of talk shows, and other members of the media. (from their web site)

A Rough Guide to Spotting Bad Science

Nodes of Science is a collaborative science communication and outreach network promoting skeptical inquiry and scientific reasoning throughout social media. (from their web site

Open Secrets is a nonpartisan, independent and nonprofit, run by the Center for Responsive Politics, which is the nation’s premier research group tracking money in U.S. politics and its effect on elections and public policy. Open Secrets are by far the best source for discovering how much and where candidates get their money. They also track lobbying groups and whom they are funding.