The internet is inundated with news about COVID-19. With so much information available online and on news channels, it can be difficult to separate truth from fiction. As fear grips the entire world and the uncertainty around the disease grows, it is now more important than ever to find credible news sources that share reliable information and stop the spread of false news.
So, if you are looking for trustworthy COVID response news online, then this article is the right place to learn how. Here are some tips to get you started.
Get your information from primary sources
The best and the most updated sources of COVI-related news are the public health sites. These are often credible sources that give you genuine information. They give you practical information to educate you about how to protect yourself and your family from not only the disease, but also the spread of misinformation. You can check back often to get the updated guidelines.
Check news on more than one news site
To make sure what you are reading is indeed true and accurate, you must cross reference it across multiple trusted news sites. Make sure that the news website you follow uses expert comments and official documents to back up their stories. The opinion pieces should also be labelled clearly to separate them from other news.
News is like a commodity. Just as you look for more than one option when buying a car, your news should also be treated the same way. The process is not as time consuming as it is falsely believed to be. If you find a piece of conflicting news on your social media, just run a quick check on other news websites to verify its claims. If you see the news story on only one website that has not been covered by the others, then it is safe to say that it is unreliable or unverified.
Check with your peers
Another great way to test the authenticity of a news story is to call up a friend or a family member and ask them. This will help you see if you both saw the same thing. Urge them to give you a feedback that you can verify against your news source. If you find that the piece of news shared on your social media is false, then be sure to communicate it to your friends.
How to know if the news source is authentic?
If you find COVID related news coming from a source that isn’t something you are familiar with, then do a quick search online to see if it is a legitimate news site. There are many websites these days that are doing a phenomenal work in stopping the spread of misinformation. They also work to rate various news organizations on the basis of factual reporting.
Once you are certain that the news source is trustworthy, you must also make one final check to verify the author. You should check to see if the author is a coronavirus expert or a scientist in the related field. If they are a journalist, check to see if coronavirus is their regular beat. Is this person a health reporter who covers topics related to science and health? If the answer is yes, then it is safe to assume that their information is reliable.
Another way to dispel misinformation is to gather information from multiple news sources. If you see that the conclusion has appeared multiple times across various news sites, then you can trust what you are reading!
How to spot the misinformation red flags?
When it comes to COVID news, the updates seem to be coming from all over the place. The best way to check the authenticity of a certain report is to check its date stamp or when the story was published. The date matters because between then and now, lot of facts may have changed.
You should also try to determine where the information is coming from. Is it a trusted organization or an independent reporter? In any case, the news report should always be supplemented with a source link. You should click on that link to check the data yourself. Additionally, when you share an article on your social media feed, be sure to read past the headline to know what is actually written inside. A lot of times, publications use clickbait headlines to increase engagement.
But most importantly, headlines that put a lot of emphasis on the emotional aspects of the news rather than the unbiased approach must be treated with skepticism.
COVID-19 is a deadly disease that has wreaked havoc all over the world. It is important to get your news from accurate sources to fight an invisible enemy with correct knowledge.