This original document was created for the purpose of providing a clear, easy-to-read guide about the “Skeptical” viewpoint as subscribed to by many who might call themselves Skeptics or critical thinkers. While it was mainly geared towards the media who are interested in providing a "skeptical" viewpoint to their stories, the goal was to explain the difference between practical Skepticism and those that say, “I’m skeptical.” It also clarifies the confusion about "skeptics" versus "denialists" and "truthers" as well as other misconceptions. It turned out to be a good, overall, explanatory piece that even the paranormal crowd appreciated.
This was a collaborative effort of many people with experience in skeptical activism, education and critical thinking. A draft was published in February, open for public comment for one month. This was crucial because I wanted it to be a community document. I wanted a consensus. All comments were considered and significant revisions were made to the original. I really appreciate those who took the time to read and comment. They are listed in the acknowledgements of the document.
The web page contains links to the extensive all-things-skeptical site Skeptics on the Net.
Take a peek over there and discover something new.
The Media Guide is licensed through Creative Commons for reproduction with proper attribution. Please use it as you see fit, republish it, and pass it on. Distribute to your local skeptic group, to give to reporters, and pass it on to friends and family when they ask what Skepticism is and why it's important.
Thanks to "The Mad Skeptic" Myron Getman, I have included print-ready copies at the website. One is re-titled "Beginner's Guide to Skepticism" as it is ideal to have as a handout for any skeptical gathering.
I'm very pleased with how it turned out. My hope is that it serves as a helpful touchstone for how to address extraordinary claims. Please share it.
Sharon Hill runs Doubtful News, a unique feed of news stories about the paranormal, pseudoscience, the weird and the unexplained with questioning commentary.