Italicized links open a new window to an external site
"Facts" and their evaluation on the Web
If you're looking for "facts" to validate, try one or more of the following sites.
- from Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting
- from Welfare Mom
- from the Urban Institute
- from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation
If you want to see reason in action
- Rushworth Kidder took an ethical look. His commentary in the September 17 issue of Ethics Line is also a must read, as is his October 9 commentary. In late September 2001, Kidder began interviewing men and women of conscience about the attacks and our response. Transcripts of the interviews are available online. They are well worth reading.
- Historian Howard Zinn tried to put retaliation in perspective.
- Journalist Robert Parry looked through the lens of recent U.S. history - Toward the Brink and Bush's Crusade.
- Britain's Jane's Information Group tries to answer Why? An Attempt to Explain the Unexplainable
- Rumors of War attempts to cut to the chase and separate fact from fiction. Check it before you automatically believe the contents of that next e-mail.
- On September 19, 2001, Terry Gross interviewed a collection of very thoughtful people. If you have the Real Player installed for your browser, you can hear what they had to say. Fresh Air programs beginning on September 17, 2001, all contain relevant, thoughtful interviews with people who represent a variety of perspectives. Use the Next Show and Previous Show buttons (at the bottom of the Fresh Air pages), or the Past Shows button on the pages that come up with the September 19, 2001 and September 17, 2001 links to get to the other programs. Don't miss Terry's interviews with George Mitchell on October 9, and Jeffrey Goldberg on October 10.
- Thoughtful scholars have been trying to figure out the world after the end of the cold war for over a decade. Many have published their thoughts. On September 23, 2001, Steve Wasserman, book editor of the LA Times, published a review of six books that offer great insight into current events. Reading it puts the media onslaught into some perspective.
- Not all reasonable writers urged us to search for peaceful solutions, or at the very least to limit our bellicose ones. David Rieff, writing for Salon.com, sees war as inevitable. He argues that since modernity is under attack by people with "13th century morals and 21st century skills", the future leads nowhere else. Likewise, Charles Deemer writing for TomPaine.com concludes that, as personally painful as it is, he must part ways with the Peace Movement of which he's been a part for nearly 40 years.
- David Talbot, founder and editor-in-chief of Salon.com, makes an eloquent plea for democracy and openness in the face of increasingly loud calls from the right for censorship and uniformity.
- One month after the attacks, bioterrorism fears seemed to sweep the nation. Kenan Malik offered some perspective. So too did The Why Files in an article suitable for teens and adults. Award-winning science journalist Laurie Garrett discussed bioterrorism and public health in this Salon.com interview.
- The Newspaper Guild has posted a page of links to articles examining the ways in which the news media function as part of the war effort. It is a great resource.
- the Newseum has posted an index to various newspaper front pages for September 12, 2001. It contains many minature graphic representations so, depending on your internet connection speed, it might take awhile to load.
- As the U.S. government moved to limit civil liberties to more effectively fight terrorism, the Statistical Assessment Service looked at the pros and cons racial profiling might have in that fight. On November 28, 2001, the Washington Post reported that former FBI officials believe that Attorney General Ashcroft's tactics could prove counterproductive.
- Spinsanity.com "exposes and analyzes the increasingly pervasive use of manipulative and subrational rhetoric in American politics." You can use the articles you'll find posted here as models to help show your students how to evaluate the truth of assertions they read.
And, as we appeared to rush towards war, Andy Donato (at the time the editorial cartoonist for the Toronto Sun) made a statement that should give us all pause. The quotation is from William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar (Act III, Scene 1, line 298).
To see more response from the nation's (indeed the world's) cartoonists, visit Daryl Cagle's collection of Terror Attack Cartoons. More recently, he's begun a collection of Anthrax cartoons. For his ongoing collection on the War on Terror, click here. You might want to use cartoons you see there as subjects for the activity Cartoonist for a Day.
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original web posting: Thursday, February 24, 2000
last modified: Sunday, May 17, 2009