When looking for credible websites and/or platforms, I, myself, tend to go to the same organizations or platforms. It is always given a sense of reliability and trust. I’ve always questioned is a well known source more reliable or are they just… well known?!
Besides being educated on how to spot information, I always wondered what other steps I could take when it came to spotting untrustworthy sites and information. I was always quick to judge off of initial presentation… you know, does it look fake?! Whatever that even means! But seriously, too many pop ups, too many adds, too many flashy colors, etc. they always gave me fake vibes.
But then I learned that there are actual steps to take in order to validate a website’s credibility: The 8 Trust Indicators . So let’s put these to work on two websites. The two I picked are Scottsdale’s Independent and Arizona mirror.
when I first logged onto Arizona mirror website, I instantly thought this is a scam! I told myself to look at the layout, but at the same time the stories were current. Step one was finding out who is behind the news and who is paying for this platform. When you log onto their About Us page you see that they are a proud independent, non-profit organization. They are here to be the voice of Arizona and are funded by donors. At the same time, they have a full staff of reporters and editors. Some of which have been in the journalist world and have worked at other news sectors for years prior.
After reading a few articles I noticed that the writing is very straight forward. In the article U.S. Supreme Court preserves access to abortion pill as lawsuit continues , they are very direct and to the point. There does not seem to be any biases in regards to which side they are on. It is as if they are just sharing an overview of an update on the topic. There were a lot of worries through the story as if they were just repeating what was said somewhere else prior. It does not appear that they were on the scene, or even in the courtroom when any of this took place.
Yet with this article it appeared that they were actually there during this meeting and did actual interviews. Also, this is a local event which makes it easier for the journalist to be present.
While this site seemed sketchy at first, after deep investigation and using the trust indicators, I believe it is a legitimate site. They have a a whole team, go to events they are speaking about, is tan and funded by the public, and most importantly ask for our input and allows republishing with Creative Commons.
One first approaching this web site, I couldn’t differentiate what was an article versus what was an advertisement. There was a lot of blending going on. Most importantly on their About us page their biases are very visible!
The webpage is a bit confusing, but I realize that Scottsdale independent is a subdivision of news media independent. While they are sharing news, they are also sharing a lot of opinions. One thing that they stand by is being able to utilize their first amendment right and speak how they feel on a topic.
You can tell that they are privately funded and gain a lot of their money from subscribers as you have to pay a monthly fee to read any of their articles. even if you want to read the free articles, you have to register for an account… Which I did not feel comfortable doing.
They are big on community as they have a primary focus on the cities within Arizona, and this one specifically being focus on Scottsdale. I do not feel as if they have diverse voices, because their biases are quite strong and present, and they believe that they are telling the community the real truth compared to the associated press.
But after a lot of scrolling and reading the select articles that I found, I believe that they are a legitimate source, even if they are a bit unorganized and biased. They showcase local events which are actually taking place such as this one Whiskies of the World debuts in Scottsdale June 10
I guess just saying… Never judge a book by its cover is true and relates to websites as well. Going into this I was quick to judge off of first appearance and flashing ads. But using the eight trust indicators, I was able to go through the steps to validate if the websites were legitimate or not. I was able to look for factors that I never thought about such as looking at their about me page and how they are funded. Also, looking at which perspective they write their articles with, and if there are any biases.