Once upon a time, photos were real, people trusted the news and there was no such thing as “alternative facts.”
Today, technology has changed everything – and still is. Between Photoshop, apps that allow anyone to create Deepfake videos and the surge of biased websites posing as neutral news sources, everything you read, see or hear could be fake.
That’s why Peoria Public Library wants to provide our patrons with a field guide to spotting misleading information, as well as resources to help you and your family exercise your critical thinking skills. Unfortunately, buyer beware now applies to how we consume information in our daily lives.
On this page you’ll find fact-checking links, links to reputable news sources and suggested books and online resources for further study. Our staff of information professionals (aka librarians) are also available to help you track the truth.
Check out our upcoming Media Literacy programs:
Building Better Media Habits in 2022 — 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 12 at North Branch, 3001 W. Grand Pkwy.
The new year is a perfect time to reconsider and refresh our relationship with media. Join us for the first program in a year-long series intended to guide your news consumption and social media use, and answer your media-related questions. Hosted by Dr. Cory Barker, Assistant Professor of Communication at Bradley University.
Geared to adults.
Media Literacy Movies: “Trust Me” — 2 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 22 at North Branch, 3001 W. Grand Pkwy.
The world is doomed. Or, is it? The truth is, there’s never been a better time to be alive. This 2020 award-winning documentary explores the gap between the perceived state of the world and the reality. Sensational media capitalizes on our survival instincts to earn clicks with shocking headlines, sowing seeds of distrust that creates polarization, increased crime and even mental disorders.
“Trust Me” covers emotional stories, interwoven with science and expert interviews, to show us a clearer view of reality and the right way to consume and share media.
Open to teens and adults.
Good Sources of Information
In real life, we don’t choose one author and only read his or her books. Hopefully, we read widely across many genres. The same should be true when it comes to reading about world events.
When the same news is covered by many news outlets – and the information presented aligns on critical points – then it is likely that information reflects the core truth of a situation.
Peoria Public Library offers two online routes to access thousands of newspapers from around the world. With NewsBank and ProQuest Newsstand you can read the Peoria Journal Star or the New York Times. Almost always, the articles are updated daily. We also provide access to thousands of peer-reviewed journals if you would like to read more deeply on subjects. Search 13 databases – medical and other scholarly journals and government publications among them – through Peoria Public Library’s WorldCat FirstSearch. You will need your library card and a special authorization code from our librarians for access.
News Sources of National and International News
The following news outlets are among those recognized as being the most neutral and most reliable for national and international news. To help you evaluate bias across media sources, you can investigate various media bias charts. We recommend you choose ones with rigorous, transparent methodologies. Check out Poynter’s MediaWise Project for more media literacy tools.