Connect with us

National News

Viewpoint: You Need to Get Better at Finding Reliable News in 2018

All news is not is created equal. Some tips to help you get better at finding the facts this year.

Published

on

It should come as no surprise to today’s college students that some news sites are more reliable than others.

Image: Boris Thaser via Wikimedia Commons

Certain outlets are accused of promoting a particular agenda (whether it be conservative or liberal), while others never seemed to have a solid grasp on the facts. All too often, what appears in students’ news feed is not “news” at all; it is simply information used to create widespread panic and reinforce preexisting biases by putting us all in echo-chambers.

But what actually makes reliable news? Key things to look for to establish reliability and credibility is what a site considers news, how they fact check and any detectable political bias.

We are all human beings and have personal biases towards certain things. But the job of news sites is not to confirm a bias, but to report facts. The job of a news source is not to sensationalize events, but to report them accurately.

There is no doubt that certain sources do it better than others. This Marketwatch infographic is a good place to begin comparing news sources:

Image: Marketwatch

The graphic claims that the BBC, NPR, Washington Post, and Associated Press meet a relatively high standard of news and have minimal partisan bias. If you are looking to go more in-depth, The Guardian, Wall Street Journal, The Economist, and Vox do a decent job, but, as one can see, they tend to skew moderately conservative or liberal.

While this comparison isn’t perfect, it definitely helps to enlighten students to the fact that some news sources are more biased than others.

If you read three articles about one issue rather than one article about it, you’ll have a better idea of whats true based on what is consistent in all of them.

But how can students spot fake or biased news that pops up in their timeline or appears on less well-known sites?

One of the most obvious ways is in the title. If a news source identifies a party in a headline or tagline, they probably skew that way. Another obvious tip-off is if they insult or ignore viewpoints that don’t agree with theirs. Unbiased stories will always make an effort to clearly lay out both sides of an issue.

Another thing to watch out for are sources that use click-bait heavy titles to draw readers in and sensationalize events to seem like bigger issues than they are.

So, what can students do to make sure they don’t get caught in the trap of fake or biased news?

One of the biggest things is to diversify your sources. If you read three articles about one issue rather than one article about it, you’ll have a better idea of whats true based on what is consistent in the articles. You can also see what might contradict based on these articles.

It is also very important to actively work to understand views different from your own. Not everyone has the same view, and it is more important to understand someone else than to reinforce your own beliefs. This might mean reading opinion pieces and occasionally looking at sites that offer well-researched viewpoints that are different from your own.

Use these two methods to be better informed and more alert to fake and biased news this year.

Are you looking for digital journalism training and experience? Are you a journalism major who wants to take your career to the next level? CMN’s Digital Journalism course gives you real-time experience, intense feedback on your writing, exposure to journalism influencers and mentors, and a great place to display your work. You can get academic credit too. Check out the Digital Journalism Course here.

Nicole Masaki is a 2018 graduate ofCanisius College in Buffalo, New York. She is a triple major in English, Environmental Studies, and Philosophy. She will be a first year grad student at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Fransisco for their MA in Anthropology and Social Change program.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Valerie

    July 2, 2018 at 11:26 am

    This is great advice and I would hope everyone would be so smart about research!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign up for the Morning Scoop

and wake up with us each day.

CMN Reports

Government2 days ago

Bernie Sanders is Running for President in 2020

The Bern is coming back in 2020.

by , The Catholic American University
Government3 days ago

Utah Congressman Creates an Anti-Socialism Caucus in Congress

Is the Red Scare making a comeback in the 21st century?

by , The Catholic American University
Government1 week ago

Former Astronaut Mark Kelly Will Run for Senate in 2020

If elected in 2020, Kelly will become fourth-ever American astronaut elected to Congress.

by , The Catholic American University
Government3 weeks ago

Gen Z Alongside Millennials Prefer Socialism Than Capitalism

The kids are all left-wing.

by , The Catholic American University
Government2 months ago

New Year, New Laws for 2019

New year means new laws.

by , The Catholic American University
Equality2 months ago

Nancy Pelosi Elected Speaker of the House

Democrats continued to control the House on Thursday by electing Nancy Pelosi who returned to be the first woman to...

by , Mercy College
Government2 months ago

The House to Approve Legislation of Reopening of the Government

Late Thursday night, the new Democratic House passed bills that would reopen the government without paying for Trump’s border wall....

by , Mercy College
Government2 months ago

Elizabeth Warren Announces She is Running for President in 2020

On New Years Eve, Senator Elizabeth Warren, (D) Massachusetts, announced that she will become a candidate to enter the 2020...

by , Mercy College

Top Reads