Important topics drawing attention

Statewide topics drawing attention
Colorado Media Fact Check
Colorado Media Fact Check

This page is devoted to identifying salient, significant Colorado issues for fact-checking and analysis. Readers are invited to submit issues for such an examination.

All statements and claims by political figures, government officials, news media, even scientists and scholars, deserve a second look for accuracy and veracity.

"Trust, but verify," a Reagan phrase relating to nuclear weapons, applies also to the need to closely scrutinize and evaluate all information, no matter how seemingly authoritative and trustworthy. One must always guard against "weapons of mass deception."

Civic engagement requires questioning and analysis of assertions and so-called facts presented by all sources. Automatically accepting any information at face value without evaluating it presents risks. 

All sources, including news media and academic, are not immune to fallacies, inaccuracies, bias, hyperbole, and even fraud and deception. So-called authoritative answers are always open to dispute, expert opinions are not always unanimous.

Opinions and rhetoric without factual underpinnings do not lend themselves to corroboration, but certain claims and statements can be checked, or at least be open to reasonable attempts of verification. All studies, reports, statistics, government data, logical reasoning and arguments are open to dispute and argument.

Information literacy, an academic and lifelong education skill taught by librarians in colleges, requires critical thinking in finding and using quality information with a reasonable amount of scrutiny and examination for reliability and accuracy.

Final airtight verdicts and ultimate truths are not always realistically possible, but reasonable efforts of verification and resulting conclusions are.

In addition to a sense of a dearth of information for specific topics, we are aware of the inundation of information—information overload—that makes it difficult and confusing to make choices and reach conclusions.

Sources of information and message overload include speeches, news stories, press releases, blogs, campaign brochures, TV ads, transcripts of TV and radio interviews, Facebook and Twitter postings. Deciphering this information requires information literacy and critical thinking skills.

Fact Checkers Wanted
Are you a competent researcher who would like to help set the record straight on issues? Are there statements by those in politics or the media that deserve to be questioned? Contact us to be part of the fact-check team.

An overview of issues for an informed citizenry