What are reliable sources?

We all know how important it is to get news and information from trusted websites and accounts. But what is a reliable source? How can you tell which ones are genuine and which ones are not?

In this episode of For Fake’s Sake, TikTok star Ehiz Ufuah speaks to Marianna Spring from the BBC’s anti-disinformation team about what to look for when deciding if a source is reliable.

The 3 key checks to tell if a source is reliable

1. Check who made it

Some sources are more reliable than others – make sure you’re getting news from journalists and official news sites, rather than just social media. Journalists are held to account for what they report and any story in a news outlet will have gone through checks and an editor.

So have a look at what they’ve previously written and if their news seems accurate and unbiased – that they just report on the facts, rather than giving an opinion.

2. Check multiple sources

If the same information can be found on other websites or accounts, it might suggest that what the source is saying has been verified by other people too.

Checking multiple sources is a great way to make sure that a person can be trusted, as it shows that other reporters have come to the same conclusion about a news story and that it’s more likely to be true.

3. Check for reliable evidence

Have a look to see if the writer, journalist or even social media source is backing up their story with trustworthy evidence. It’s always a good sign if you can find where the news has come from and clearly see the facts behind the piece.

It’s also good to ask yourself if what the source is saying sounds believable. If it appears a bit out of this world or too good to be true, then the chances are that it might well be.

Where next?

Think like a journalist: How to check a story
How to be impartial and separate facts from opinions - BBC Young Reporter
The seven types of people who start and spread viral misinformation
Fact or Fake?