Monday, April 29, 2013

Churnalism: A New Tool for Checking Sources

It's one of our biggest battles:  Getting students to check the source of their information.  If it's on Wikipedia, if it's on a news site--well, then, it must be true, right?

That battle just got a little bit easier with Churnalism, from the Sunlight Foundation, which allows users to check Wikipedia articles and news stories against other sources (read: press releases) for plagiarism.

Why is this good?  Too many news sources, hard-pressed for funds, cut corners by citing un-sourced press releases as journalistic facts.  So a "news" article about a new drug-therapy, might be sourced from a press release by the pharmaceutical company.  Not exactly unbiased. It also allows students to check quotations against the original source to see if they're taking out of context.

You can view their video tutorial below.  I think I may start adding this to all my pathfinders!

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