Fact-checking the Presidential Debates? The Library Can Help!

After the first presidential debate between candidates Clinton and Trump, it appears that fact-checking will be a popular topic of this year’s election coverage. According to CSN Journalism Instructor Jennifer Mitchell, “Facts are imperative to thoughts and argumentation. My students who are training to be journalists must learn the importance of facts and how to verify information in order to ensure they are writing factual statements in their articles. I hold them to a high standard of fact-checking.”

Truth-o-meterWhat exactly does fact-checking involve? PolitiFact is a Pulitzer Prize winning fact-checking website that rates the accuracy of claims by elected officials and other speakers in American politics. As part of their 7 Steps to Better Fact-checking advice, PolitiFact recommends searching the deep web and checking out some books. The Library website has a great search tool to help you do that.

The search box on the Library’s website allows you to search databases containing articles, books, films and other resources. These databases are known as part of the “deep web” because they are not freely available on the Internet. CSN students, faculty and staff are able to log in to the databases for free and search for credible proof and evidence to support claims.

Instructor Mitchell explains, “As journalists we can’t afford to get it wrong. What we put out in the public affects lives. Sensationalism and drama are celebrated and rewarded often in media but that type of reporting does a disservice to citizens who need accurate and good information to self-govern and make good decisions for their lives.”

As faculty advisor to CSN’s Coyote Student News, Instructor Mitchell encourages students to use the CSN library databases to anchor some of their articles to timely and probative information. “Peer-reviewed information is valuable and academic research is important. Our resources through CSN are incredible and a real gift to our students.”

If you have any questions about how to find what you are looking for on our Library website, just Ask A Librarian!