The Beehive Encyclopaedia: Reliable Sources

Reliable sources is a term used to define publishers who we can trust, and which should be free from misinformation. In reality, however, there is no such thing. Some sources do tend to be more committed to the truth than others, but sadly even the most committed publishers make mistakes sometimes (intentionally or not – see Why newspapers lie). Luckily, there are principles we can follow to determine the probability with each we can trust a specific source (see Who owns the truth for more detail). It should be transparent and accurate about its methodology and findings, it must be adequate to produce that information, it should not benefit directly or indirectly from the claim it’s trying to make and it should be done in a jurisdiction where others would have the right to call out any mistakes were the information false (typically, that means a stable democracy with concrete freedom of speech – see Press freedom around the world). When reading an article, there are also clear clues to watch out for in order to easily determine whether you are being exposed to misinformation (see How to avoid misinformation).

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