Sources, Verification and Credibility

Course Overview

Sources, Verification and Credibility
Self-Directed Course
This $24.95 course is FREE thanks to funding support from the Radio Television Digital News Foundation, the Robert R. McCormick Foundation and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
Time Estimate:
1-2 hours

About Self-Directed Courses

In a self-directed course, you can start and stop whenever you like, progressing entirely at your own pace and going back as many times as you want to review the material.

There's a flood of information available in print, on TV and radio, online and on smartphones and tablets. How do you know what you can believe — what is credible? How do you know whether you can trust the source of the information? What if you want to share news and information with others? How do you publish something that has credibility and context?

This course will give you the tools to evaluate the credibility of what you read, see and hear. You'll also learn what you need to ask before you publish — whether it's a news story, a blog item or a tweet.

By understanding how to evaluate news and information, you'll be a better news consumer, news producer and a better citizen in a democracy.

What Will I Learn:
  • The characteristics of different forms of information, including news, advertising and public relations
  • How to identify different types of sources
  • How to evaluate the credibility of sources
  • How to assess the credibility of websites
  • Questions you should ask to ensure you're publishing credible information
Who should take this course:

Students, citizen contributors, journalists and anyone who wants to know more about how to evaluate the information they read, see, hear or publish.

Course Instructor:

Candace Perkins Bowen

Candace Perkins Bowen directs both the Center for Scholastic Journalism at Kent State University and the statewide Ohio Scholastic Media Association. She teaches media writing plus journalism teaching methods and desktop publishing for Integrated Language Arts majors at Kent State.


Radio Television Digital News Foundation

The Radio Television Digital News Foundation provides training programs, seminars, scholarship support and research in areas of critical concern to electronic news professionals and their audience.

Robert R. McCormick Foundation

The Robert R. McCormick Foundation is a nonprofit organization committed to fostering communities of educated, informed and engaged citizens. Through philanthropic programs, Cantigny Park and museums, the foundation helps develop citizen leaders and works to make life better in our communities. The foundation was established as a charitable trust in 1955, upon the death of Col. Robert R. McCormick, the longtime editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune. The foundation is one of the nation's largest foundations, with more than $1 billion in assets.

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation advances journalism excellence in the digital age and invests in the vitality of communities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers. Knight Foundation focuses on projects that promote informed, engaged communities and lead to transformational change.

Technical Requirements:

This course doesn't require any special software.