(RepublicanNews.org) – Today more than ever, knowing how to do your own research is an integral part of surviving in this world. In the past, Americans thought they could rely on their known news sources and professionals. However, things have taken a drastic turn, and even the most trusted news source should be verified, especially before that information is shared. But where to start?
Telltale Signs of Poor Reporting
It’s almost impossible to write anything without injecting your own opinions into the text. That goes without being said. But fair reporting involves sharing resources that lead to conclusions and avoiding slanderous name-calling and inflammatory remarks. That applies even if you agree with the sentiment.
In that light, always looks for easy access to the resources. For instance, if you’re reading about a scientific study, does the article have a link to the study or the documents themselves? If not, that’s a huge red flag. In fact, no matter what the topic is, there should be an easy way to get to the source that holds the data being reported on.
Deepfakes are images that have been altered so that part of the image is replaced or covered with another image in order to create a false concept. It happens all the time with famous people in an effort to discredit them. For instance, an image of someone doing something nefarious might be partially replaced with the face of someone who had no part in the activity. Look for blurred hairlines, a lack or modification of shadows, shading, or the reflection of light.
Sources aren’t always easy to review. If you struggle with legal or medical terms, it can be downright intimidating. But some things stand out easily enough. For instance, when it comes to studies, those that are peer-reviewed and involve a large number of participants, along with a control group are best. Take the time to look at the details of the people involved. If there is a medical study on a disease that targets a specific population, the people involved should have varied socio-economic status and health issues. Otherwise, the results are skewed.
Aside from the sources themselves, see who sponsored them and what they do or don’t have to gain by it. For example, a study conducted by a company that produces aspirin is obviously going to be swayed to prove something that promotes aspirin. If anything, find opposing studies and compare results.
Use More Facts Than Emotions
At the end of the day, no matter what sort of research you do, if you allow your emotions to guide you rather than logic, you’re going to see what you want to. But your agenda may not be the same as the sources you’re looking to. The best way to do research in order to combat this is to look to the opposing view as much as you look to views that align with your own.
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