Sources, Credibility, and Social Media

 

In today’s fast paced world where any information in all of human history can be seen at the click of a button, how can one judge if a news story is based on facts or conjecture? For this post I have chosen an article to analyze, to dissect if you will, to see if the information presented can be determined as reliable. I have chosen a subject that is near and dear to my heart and bank account, student loans. The article that I will be analyzing is The Huffington Post’s, Wall Street Is Pummeling The Nation’s Largest Student Loan Company: Investors flee Navient Corp. as concerns mount by Shahien Nasiripour. This article deals with the student loan company Navient, the mounting debt of college students, and the drop in Navient’s shares.

When evaluating an article like this for reliability, I first look at the author. Who are they? Did they get a college degree and if so from where and in what? Basically, what makes them qualified to comment on the subject. Where are they employed? Is it for a major news agency, are they freelance, are they just a blogger? If they are employed what is their job title? Have they written more on the subject or subjects related to the story I am reading? As far as this article is concerned, I have linked Nasiripour’s information in the paragraph above. He did attend a university, however it does not state what his degree is in. It also talks about his previous experience.

Next I look to see if there are any quotations or other cited material. If so, did the author properly cite the information or in the case of an online article hyperlink the original story? He has hyper linked 14 different sources, 6 of which he has written for The Huffington Post.

  1. UNITED STATES SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION   x2
  2. The Market Value Versus Book Value
  3. We Can’t Afford To Wait How States And Municipalities Can Help Curtail The Student Debt Crisis
  4. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
  5. Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
  6. National Student Loan Database
  7. Federal Reserve Bank of New York November 2015
  8. CFPB Concerned About Widespread Servicing Failures Reported by Student Loan Borrowers

He wrote:

  1. CFPB Considers Suing Student Loan Giant Navient For Cheating Borrowers
  2. How Elizabeth Warren Beat A Student Loan Giant
  3. Education Department Shows Little Concern About Lawbreaking Debt Collectors
  4. Education Department Terminates Contracts With Debt Collectors Accused Of Wrongdoing
  5. When You Weren’t Paying Attention Congress Shook Up The Student Loan Market
  6. Consumer Regulator Considers Student Loan Rules To Fix ‘Widespread Failures’

Of the sources he wrote, each is equally as dense with hyperlinks as this article. Of the sources he did not write, many are from government forms that can be found on government websites. Being so well documented helps when speaking in terms of social media. If I wanted to link this article to my own personal Facebook or tweet it out via Twitter, I would feel confident in the information I would be sending out. If anyone clicked on my link, they would be able to further explore the subject if they felt so inclined.

With his background and the how thoroughly his article is cited, I would call this a reliable source of information.

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