Web sites

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There are millions of Web sites about religion. Here’s how to use them carefully.

  • Official Web sites of religions, denominations and religious organizations are generally reliable, though they are not always up to date. In general, it’s best to check every fact and name you take fromWeb sites.
  • Be aware that critics often createWeb sites with URLs similar to those of whatever group they’re criticizing, so always check who posts the site.Never use information if you don’t know whoseWeb site it is.
  • Some professors keep theirWeb sites meticulously updated,while others don’t even list the names of their own books correctly.
  • If you’re seeking background on a topic or group — particularly if it involves religious beliefs, doctrines or practice — read what’s on theWeb with the understanding that it may be wildly inaccurate.
  • Surf smartly.Read articles andWeb sites about effective ways to research on theWeb.
  • To gather background for a story, start with a Nexis, Dow Jones or similar database search of published articles, which are likely to be reasonably accurate.Then when you search theWeb, it will be easier to quickly discern which pages have inaccurate or biased information.
  • TheWeb is a good place to figure out the different sides to an issue. If there is dissent or opposition,you’ll generally find it on theWeb,which can help guide your reporting.
  • Dozens of online publications and centers distribute free emails with stories,updates and news releases about religion.This is an easy way to look for trends and to gather string for stories.
  • Many religiousmagazines post all ormost of their content online, so you can read a variety of publications from a variety of religious viewpoints for free.
  • The more you use theWeb, the more you become familiar with which sites have accurate, up-to-date information.