About the guide

This handbook was developed as a practical aid for the students of journalism, media, and communication studies, and early career journalists by the Source Criticism and Mediated Disinformation (SCAM) project.

The handbook is an online guide for the audience interested in familiarising with and practicing digital source criticism as a comprehensive approach to investigating information sources.

How to use an online guide for digital source criticism

We do not offer one-size-fits-all approaches. Instead, the goal is to provide a framework for thinking that should help developing critical media and source literacy as a skill transferable to various real-life scenarios.
We suggest a three-step process for the efficient use of the handbook:

Step 1

Before getting into the details of the handbook, it is advised to familiarise yourself with the basic terms such as digital source criticism, fact-checking, verification, debunking, source, etc. For that, check the glossary page.

We encourage you to get familiar with the 6 principles of digital source criticism, which is the organising logic for the crucial questions to ask for digital source criticism:
– Tendency
– Interpretation
– Duality
– Relations
– Omission
– Self-assessment

Step 2

Read through the questions following the principles of digital source criticism.

No need to memorise the questions, as far as you understand why to ask them.

Step 3

Read through the cases, discussing the specific examples of asking the questions for evaluating the information from various digital channels.