Google and Yahoo are two of the most common search engines used today. Just type away your question and within a few seconds the answer pops up right on your screen. But how do you know if this information is reliable?
You may think that since this information came from Google it must be true, right? Wrong. There is a vast number of websites out there that are unreliable. Just because they pop up through a Yahoo or a Google search does not mean that you can trust them. According to the website eHOW, websites that end in “org, “gov,” and “edu,” are all sites that tend to be supervised by either educational or governmental institutions and usually have the most reliable information.
According to the textbook Inside Reporting by Tim Harrower, there are some key websites that every reporter should use to verify their information. For reference and research four main sites can be very useful. The first one is http://www.bartleby.com; this site can help you with a dictionary, thesaurus, almanac, Bible, and even a quotation finder. Another site that every reporter should have saved in their bookmarks is www.statelocalgov.net, this site can get you information from any city that you need to research. Next is www.profnet.com, this site can connect you with thousands of experts on your topic. You do need to be registered to use the PR Newswire site. This last site is great for folklore and urban legends, www.urbanlegends.about.com.
For journalism tips or tools the following sites will come in handy. The first site is National Press Clubs online library http://press.org. According to Tim Harrower this site has everything a journalist will need, from phone listings to FBI crime reports. Journalist Express is a useful site for journalist that provides many helpful resources for reporting, www.journalistexpress.com/public. You are able to use more features on Journalist Express if you are a registered member, but the good news is that is free to use.
These sites are all very helpful in checking your facts, to ensure that you are giving your readers the right information. After all, who wants to be an unreliable reporter?
Images courtesy of clipartguide.com, google.com and journalistexpress.com