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Telling Fact from Fiction: Finding Reliable Information in the Fake News Era

Librarians have long advocated for, and taught the skills of information literacy, often invoking the so-called CRAAP test as a tool for evaluating the truth of information sources, particularly those found online. While this tool is mainly suggested to students evaluating sources for use in term papers or other assignments,  the criteria the acronym spells out are useful for all of us to keep in mind as we evaluate the news.

C: currency
R: relevance
A: authority
A: accuracy
P: purpose

Helpful "CRAAP Test Worksheet" from Juniata college that explains the criteria:

Books for Background:

Atkisson, Sharyl The Smear: How Shady Political Operatives and Fake News Control What You See, What You Think, and How You Vote New Non-Fiction, 070.4 Att
Davies,  Nick. Flat Earth News: An Award-winning Reporter Exposes Falsehood, Distortion and Propaganda in the Global Media Non-Fiction 070.4 Dav

Gladstone, Brooke.


The Trouble with Reality: A Rumination on Moral Panic in Our Time electronic resource
Goodman, Matthew. The Sun and the Moon: The Remarkable True Account of Hoaxers, Showmen, Dueling Journalists and the Lunar Man-bats in Nineteenth-century New York

Non-Fiction 974.7103 Goo

(also available in other formats)

Hedges, Chris. Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle, Non-Fiction 302.23 Hed Non-Fiction 302.23 Hed
Kovach, Bill.
Blur: How to Know What’s True in the Age of Information Overload,

Non-Fiction 070.9 Kov

Lee, Martin A. Unreliable Sources: A Guide to Detecting Bias in News Media,

Non-fiction 302.23 Lee

Rabin-Havt, Ari. Lies Incorporated: The World of Post-Truth Politics,

Non-Fiction 320.6097 Rab

(also available in other formats)

Young, Kevin. B Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-facts, and Fake News electronic resource
Special Reports:

From the New York Public Library:

From the RAND Corporation

Fact-checking Websites:

Online guides from other libraries:



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