Part II – evaluate the information

When you are presented with new information, it is important to take time to understand the source it comes from. Ask questions: What biases might be coming from that source? Can you trust it?

1. Can you find the name of the company who published MonroeWorkToday?

Does the publisher cite their sources? Also visit the website of that publisher. From their company website, assess if you see any viewpoints: what values do they seem to support? Would these values affect the way they tell a story?

2. Is there bias from Mr. Work who was counting the lynchings?

Recall from Part I that Monroe Work started his own data from Tuskegee, Alabama because he did not want it to carry a Northerner’s tendency to scorn the South. He wanted to make a case based on "the facts."

Mr. Work was a sociologist, so he perceived the world as a scholar. He was interested in studying the experiences which black people really lived.

Also, remember that he was quiet and worked behind the scenes. He did not participate in protests, he was considered somewhat conservative compared to the activists of the time. Are there any other inclinations he might have held?

After you reflect, does it slightly strengthen your trust in the information, or weaken it?

This question has no definite answer— you can only determine it for yourself. This step is not the same thing as whether you agree with the article, it is about whether the information is valid. (You should always do this with anything you read online.)

However, some questions about the information do have an answer: