NEWS: Fact or Fiction

Welcome to OIP’s “NEWS: Fact or Fiction” webpage, which provides you with education and resources to think critically and distinguish between objective data and opinions, and what is real versus manipulated images, voices, and other information.  Although OIP helps people to gain access to public records and open meetings, it does not vouch for the accuracy or truth of the information disclosed, nor does it control how people use or misuse the information that they obtain from government.  Therefore, distinguishing between fact and fiction is up to you.

With rampant misinformation, disinformation, and convincingly deceptive photos, videos, and robocalls generated by artificial intelligence now bombarding people on social media and even through mainstream media, it is harder but more important than ever for people to become news literate and recognize fake versus legitimate news.  Sunshine in the news is as important as sunshine in government.

Thanks to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and The Fulcrum, OIP has received permission to post two informative articles that were originally published by The Fulcrum and also appeared in the Star-Advertiser’s Insight section on January 28, 2024.  These articles briefly explain the dangers of misinformation and disinformation and provide helpful information to become news literate.  Here are links to the articles by Susan Minichiello and John Silva.

Additionally, here is a link to the News Literacy Project (, which is a nonpartisan organization providing free education and resources to help people determine the credibility of news and other information, including the “RumorGuard” that analyzes the authenticity of photos, videos, and news reports, as well as other lessons, webinars, podcasts, and infographics that teach skills to identify fact from fiction.  One clear infographic teaches people the following Seven Standards of Quality Journalism, so they can learn what news reports to trust, share, and act on:

1) Multiple Credible Sources, who are in a position to know relevant facts and details;

2) Verification to check and confirm all facts and details;

3) Avoidance of Bias by presenting facts and necessary context in a dispassionate manner;

4) Balance by representing multiple sides of an issue without giving undue weight or legitimacy to one view point;

5) Documentation of reports, studies, data, videos, photos, and audio recordings;

6) Context that presents the facts in a way that makes their meaning clear, fair, and accurate; and

7) Fairness by treating sources and subjects with appropriate respect, and giving subjects a chance to respond or share their points of view.

Other infographics discuss misinformation, news media bias, how to vet a news source, and how to speak up without starting a showdown.  You can also learn more about artificial intelligence, and there are free interactive lessons that can be used for individual learning or by educators in classrooms teach news literacy. Check out the News Literacy Project’s tips and tools at and become news literate.