How to verify news

Step 1: Vet Sources

The way we verify news and information at VNN is by taking the same steps everyone should take to verify news and information.

Before we start looking at the information, we need to look at where the information is coming from.

For VNN, that means interviewing potential journalist and affiliate partners before they are able to share stories on our network. That way, we can determine these contributors are dedicated to reporting accurate and balanced news.

It means making sure experts who contribute to our network are actually experts, with a minimum 10 years experience in their field. And it means calling and meeting with officials to ensure they are who they say they are.

And you should use the same due diligence, too. Before you trust the news and information a source is providing, do some research. Does the source include or reference proven research and expert testimony in their stories? Is their content based on facts (good) or just opinion (bad)? Are they trying to force you to believe what they want you to believe (bad) or presenting the facts and letting you draw your own conclusions (good)?

Here are some additional giveaways content might not be trustworthy:

  • Sketchy domains. Websites that end in or something like that are often designed to trick people into believing they’re legitimate when they’re not.
  • No or new author. Everyone has to start somewhere, but if there is no attribution as to who put the piece together or the creator website was just created yesterday and includes no backstory about where they came from, those are red flags.
  • Poor quality. Everyone makes mistakes, but if the article is riddled with misspellings and poor punctuation, it’s usually a dead giveaway this was not written by a professional.

Vetting is an important first step in the verification process.

Check this list out to learn more about the elements of good journalism.