Party and corporate concept. People at the tables, top view.

I’m doing a ton of research for my book, Corporate Drinker. Of course, some research entails reading books and scientific journals about substance abuse disorders. But there’s another part where I’m online looking at reporting, blogs, and white papers about alcohol, work, and well-being.

You’d think the reporting on work drinkin’ would be straightforward and without bias, but it’s not. People are emotional creatures, and sensationalism sells. Trauma makes a compelling plotline and seems to count for someone’s sense of authenticity and credibility.

Navigating the ever-evolving digital world is demanding now that Twitter has removed verification checkmarks and Meta started selling badges. LinkedIn tried to roll out different programs to tell you who is credible, but sometimes I look at someone’s status and think, “Really? That guy? He’s got something smart to say?”

So, sifting through the vast ocean of information to find credible¬†news sources takes a lot of work. That’s why I’ve decided to share my strategy for dealing with newspapers, magazines, online sources, news sites, and authorities.

My system is hacked from other people’s wise advice and works for me.

Discovering Credible News Sources

In my quest for reliable news, I always look for established news organizations with a strong history, transparent ownership, and clear editorial policies. It helps me ensure that I’m consuming news from a reputable source. Unfortunately, some people question mainstream publications like The New York Times, WaPo, and even PBS. It turns out that Jeff Bezos is the new George Soros.

Ownership and editorial policies are not enough. It’s vital to assess the quality of the journalist or author, even in historically reliable news organizations. I pay attention to journalists with diverse perspectives. If you’re writing about work and labor and how it intersects with alcohol, I want you to use credible sources and find expert, verified opinions.

I also use fact-checking websites to provide context. I turn to reliable platforms such as Snopes.com, FactCheck.org, and PolitiFact.com to verify the accuracy of news stories. These websites have become invaluable tools in my research.

For example, does a ‘Multicultural Beach’ sign in Melbourne prohibit pork and alcohol? Well, dummies, Melbourne doesn’t have beaches. So the correct answer is no.

Verifying News Sources

I’m a writer, not a private investigator. I want solid sources for my book without doing a lot of work. But so much of the media is owned by other media conglomerates, so cross-referencing multiple sources can be challenging.

When I encounter a news story with a hot take, I compare it with reports from different outlets. I’ll see what USA Today says about the story if it’s in a business publication like The Financial Times. If I find an economist writing for a payroll company, I’ll look to NPR to see what they say about the topic. Again, consistency and consensus help me confirm the story’s credibility.

If I find a story online, I’ll always look at the publication date and see if it’s an old article that’s been updated. It’s so important to verify the recency and relevance of the information and look for any updates or corrections that have been made. This is true even on sites like Bloomberg and Business Insider. Looking at the original publication dates helps me stay informed with the most accurate information available.

And I don’t mind AI-generated or computer-edited content. You don’t need to tell me. But if there’s a name on the article, I will examine the author’s background and expertise and their reliable and accurate reporting history. I read a lot of content from consulting firms like McKinsey, think tanks like WEF, and even technology vendors. So, looking at the writer’s background — or discerning if it’s AI-generated clickbait — is essential in my verification process.

Social Media as a News Source: Pros and Cons

Twitter is terrible these days, but it’s hardly alone. Years ago, social media provided: Real-time updates and firsthand accounts. Offered a platform for citizen journalism. Enabled easy sharing and discussion of news stories.

Those days are over. Social media amplifies the spread of misinformation and fake news, reinforces echo chambers and filter bubbles, and lacks editorial oversight and quality control.

But sometimes, I find diamonds in the rough.

To use social media responsibly, I follow verified and credible news sources, cross-check information before sharing, and remain aware of my biases while maintaining a diverse news diet. And even then, I’ll have a call with someone who seemed credible and turned out to be a tool.

It’s still messy.

You Can Handle The Truth

By following the tips I’ve shared, you, too, can become a more discerning consumer of information, better equipped to navigate the complexities of today’s information landscape.

Remember always to question the credibility and accuracy of news sources and be mindful of social media’s role in shaping our perceptions. Stay informed, stay curious, and stay critical. And sign up for my newsletter if you want to stay up to date on the progress of Corporate Drinker!