WAM! - FACT-UP Fact Check, Research, & Think Critically like a Radical Librarian

Presented by Radical Reference volunteers Jenna Freedman and Lana Thelen

The presentation is online! WOO! Gotta love it.

"This workshop will introduce skills to novice and veteran media makers alike, encouraging them to 'research like a librarian,' providing tips on how to find and recognize appropriate resources for researching and fact checking their stories. The presenters will be happy to adapt this workshop to whomever is in the room, but the impetus for proposing it is sharing skills with those newer to advanced research and critical thinking. However, people who are already confident in their research skills will undoubtedly learn some things, too. The facilitators can field questions on fact checking and research, but also on the mysteries of tagging, RSS feeds and the like."

The first thing taught in library school is how to evaluate sources aka check your facts.
  • Make time to fact check
  • Keep track of where you are getting your facts & what you change.
  • Ask a 3rd party to go thru and point out any facts that need to be checked. Names, places, data points, etc.
  • Go thru one last time that you have all the facts highlighted
  • Check your sources
  • Check quotations!
    • Read your quotes back to them
    • Don't share anymore of your article at that point
    • Stay in charge of the story
Be aware of editorial comments that frame the story in a certain way...Are you skewing the story?

Boston Public Library has an excellent online library and you can get an electronic library card.

To search a website via Google type in " site:.gov "supreme court" kimbrough " this way you don't have to use the site's own search interface.

Wikipedia is a great place to START a fact check, but wouldn't use it to verify a fact. Don't forget the citations at the bottom of Wikipedia. Those just might be what you do want to cite.

They have a great list of good places for references. Feel free to log into the site and add a comment with your own great source.

Another trick to remember on a websearch: "link:site.org"

This was a great session for journalists as well as bloggers who write about facts. haha...Don't we all? But seriously, my pet peeve is when someone blogs about a science or health research article, but doesn't read it. I know it's hard, but when you take a firm stance on something, you have to know what kind of foundation you're standing on.

Technorati tags: WAM!, WAM! 2008