Thanks to the evolution of the media, as well as the advent of the Internet into the life of people and its subsequent development, we can say with confidence that the problem of information hunger for an ordinary person has been generally resolved, now he always has the necessary and relevant information at hand on almost any issue. However, a new problem arises here: there is so much information and it is constantly updated (including by knowingly incompetent or deliberately misinforming people) that it is not only difficult for an average person to choose the most necessary, but also generally to understand the reliability of the information received.
It makes sense to consider the search for reliable information mainly on the Internet, since almost any significant information (radio broadcasts, newspaper articles, TV programs, reference information, etc.) quickly gets into the network.
The Internet is perhaps the most accessible tool for expressing one's opinion or publishing information on any issue. At the same time, the author immediately gets an audience from all over the world. These properties are very attractive for people pursuing various goals: some are simply trying to share their own opinion, experience; others are fighting with competitors, trying to promote a product; still others defend a certain political position. The Internet is an open space that everyone can fill with this or that information.
Therefore, information in many places on the Internet is unreliable and chaotically scattered, the justification for any statements may be incorrect, and the facts are presented with distortions. In many cases, information is also a product of manipulation of consciousness and information wars.
Nevertheless, it is not difficult to find reliable information with certain skills. Listed below are the most common cases in which it is necessary to establish the truth of the information provided, and specific techniques for working with the data.
Reliability of news articles
The news, colored in bright emotional tones, but not having links to reliable sources, not confirmed by photographs or filming, is clearly propaganda in nature. It should also be remembered here that a news story with a video report has a better chance of being reliable than a news story with only photographic materials (photographs are much easier to fake than video editing).
Doubtful photographs should be checked using image search (in Yandex or Google systems). It often happens that when covering events, the media use older photos of similar (but not the ones they are writing about) events.
News analytics (especially of politicized events) without references to reliable sources should be perceived as unreliable.
Reliable sources are:
- a specific person who, by virtue of his position or authority, has information transmitted by the media;
- the documents;
- the results of sociological or scientific research published on the website of their performer;
- printed edition with output data;
- filmed video reports in detail.
Use of social media
In the midst of military or political conflicts (for example, as is currently happening in Ukraine after the Euromaidan), you should not rely on the credibility of the media, even the official ones. As a rule, the media at this time defend the policies of their countries and can either embellish the events in their favor, or even deliberately misinform the population.
To find out what the real political, military, economic situation is on the ground, you can interview people living in the region of interest using social networks.At the same time, it is necessary to ensure that the people interviewed are not ardent supporters of any political camp or clearly interested structure; otherwise, deliberate or spontaneous distortion of information cannot be avoided.
Reliability of scientific information
In Russia, at present, various organizations are very common that use the word "academy" in their name, thereby pretending to be scientific, as well as the scientific nature of the information they provide to society.
However, in Russia today there is only one state academy - the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS). It is her scientific materials that should be taken seriously. No other "academies" in Russia, including the private but widely known Russian Academy of Natural Sciences (RANS), are a source of reliable scientific information.
State research associations and institutes can also be considered a source of knowingly true information. Data on the research carried out can be obtained from the press service of these organizations or on the official websites.
Reliability of educational information
The education system (especially with the proliferation of private educational institutions) today is also not immune from providing its users with inaccurate information. To avoid it, a potential user should check whether the textbooks used by the Federal State Educational Standard correspond to, whether they are included in the Federal list of textbooks that are recommended and approved for use in the educational process, whether the educational institution has state accreditation.
In Russia, at present, only the teaching materials of state educational institutions deserve full confidence.