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How to spot fake news - and 11 reasons why you can trust your Doncaster Free Press

How to spot fake news.
How to spot fake news.

In an era when social media can help lies and half-truths spread at an alarming rate, you need to know who you can trust when it comes to fair, accurate and balanced reporting and journalism.

Social media giants face a new series of regulations as the government leads the way to a crackdown on fake news and misuse of data after allegations from MPs the internet giants have acted “irresponsibly."

So here's our guide on how to spot Fake News - and 11 reasons why you can trust your Doncaster Free Press.

News expert Dr Lisette Johnston, an ex BBC World News boss and now Head of School at ScreenSpace, has some top tips.

Check the source

Look at the publication or site and look at its other stories – try to think critically, consider whether there is any other questionable content.

Check the date

Sometimes a story from years ago can be re run to give the impression of ‘new’ news.

Do your own research

Check whether the story has been run on other sites, if so, how is the story presented?

Read beyond the headline

Some publications and websites use sensational headlines as a way to encourage you to ‘click’ on the story, this is called ‘click bait’. Sometimes the actual story bears no resemblance to its headline.

Research the writer

If the article has a writer’s byline - Google them to see what other articles they’ve written.

Check the facts

There are some great fact-checking websites such as: https://fullfact.org and https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/ to use when you’re really not sure about a story, whether it’s a statement from MPs or a piece from other organisations.

But, you can also ask yourself these three questions:

Can the statement be proved or demonstrated to be true?

Can the statement be observed in practice or operation?

Can the statement by verified by witnesses, manuscripts, or documents?

Your Doncaster Free Press has long been a trusted and reliable source of local news, views and information and we pride ourselves on our approach to bringing you what's going on in the region each day.

Here's 11 reasons why you can trust The Doncaster Free Press

1. Our team of experienced reporters are trained up with all the relevant qualifications and act with integrity, compassion and accuracy when it comes to writing a story. Content is produced by journalists trained by the National Council for the Training of Journalists to the highest industry benchmarks. These reporters are qualified in a range of skills - from newspaper law and ethics to shorthand, to ensure we get every quote right.

2. If we see something on social media, we'll check it out - fact-checking and getting different sides of the story are essential when it comes to publishing our articles.

3. We abide by the rules and regulations set out by IPSO - the Independent Press Standards Association. The code covers many aspects of journalism - from accuracy to privacy, harassment and discrimination.

4. Newspapers and their websites are subject to some of the most robust regulation in the world. They and all their editorial staffs are bound by the Editors' Code of Practice, which sets out clear standards.

5. If we get something wrong, we'll correct it. We do make mistakes from time to time, but we'll always endeavour to put right any errors at the earliest opportunity.

6. Local media is the most trusted source of information - readers are more than twice as likely to act on adverts in local media than ads on TV and social media.

7. We're the best place to go to for authoritative, balanced coverage. Our reporters know what's happening in the town - and we'll bring you the stories that matter first.

8. Knowledge is key - whether its Hexthorpe or Hyde Park, Scawsby or Sprotbrough, Armthorpe or Askern, our reporters know Doncaster inside out. We live, work and play in our communities so we know the stories that matter to local people.

9. When news is breaking and coming in, readers turn to us to bring them the details and facts. We bring you updates and strive to find out exactly what's happening as quickly as we can - and if you tell us something, we'll check it out.

10. We aim to bring you stories in the public interest - the crimes, the courts, the wrongdoing by organisations and authorities that needs to be put under scrutiny.

11. We'll fight battles. We've always been a campaigning newspaper and we'll fight battles on your behalf. Whether it is a community initiative or town wide drive, we'll be involved right from the off to try and make a difference.

So stick with The Doncaster Free Press - with pride, we provide trusted news and honest advertisement platforms and thanks to the tireless diligence of our editorial staff you can be confident that our stories are always exactly what they purport to be: the genuine article. Fact - not fake.