Supporters of citizen journalism, the idea that ordinary people are best positioned to provide information and reports about current events, say that verifying information is often difficult but that eventually there will be a way to make doing so easier.
"The next generation in this will be people who recognize we need a YouTube that has some kind of identity verification behind it, to assign credibility to particular sources," said Robert Niles, editor of the Online Journalism Review at University of Southern California.
It’s not only in citizen journalism that verifying information is often difficult. How many times in the newspaper do you read quotes from an unnamed "official", or "a reliable source" ?
Speaking of knowing the source and validity of information, "Dirty Little Secrets: The Persistence of Corruption in American Politics ," by Larry J. Sabato and Glenn R. Simpson, says to be suspicious of political pollsters. They may not be whom they seem to be. In the guise of asking questions, they can plant false information in your mind. For example, they could ask as part of a supposed political survey, "would you vote for [the name of their candidates’ opponent] if you knew that he/she [had been a member of the Communist Party; was a homosexual; used to beat his wife; etc.]?"