Checking the story

You’ll get to learn about a number of things you can do to check if the news story you’re seeing or reading is real and true.

A good starting point is to simply ask yourself:

  • Is this real? It may sound simple but how many of us really stop to think about the information we see and share?

You should use the acronym REAL to:

  • Ask really? Could this really be true? Do I really believe this?
  • Look for evidence is your next stage. Who is the source or author? Can they be trusted? Why are they sharing this? What evidence do they have to support what they are saying?
  • See if the evidence adds up – do the dates, facts and figures all support the story or the claims being made?
  • Finally look around - are other sources carrying the story as well? Does this reflect what you are seeing elsewhere?

For schools wanting more information about ways of working out what is REAL go to our lesson plan.

Knowing who to trust
Recognising fake news
Numbers and the tricks they play
BBC iReporter: What would a journalist do? (Guidance for young people)
Teachers guide to the BBC iReporter interactive game
Lesson 1: Real versus fake news
Lesson 2: Sources and who to trust
Lesson 3: Social media, images and data