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Navigating the Web

Criteria for evaluating websites

Detecting Media Bias

What type of content is this?

Is it a newspaper or magazine article? An investigative report? An opinion piece? An editorial? An “advertorial”? A blog?

Is it an article on the website of a government, non-profit, NGO, educational institution, or advocacy or special interest group?

Is it personal blog or website?

Who is the author and what are their affiliations?

 

Who is the publisher or organization behind the website and what are their affiliations?

Are they named or is it an anonymous article? Are their qualifications given? If not, do a Google search for them. What do you find?

 

Are they sponsored by an outside organization or publication? Do they have a political or religious slant? (Hint: you might not be able to tell from just one article).

Follow the money! (ABC is the network that produces World News Tonight, but ABC is owned by Disney. Can World News Tonight run a completely un-biased story about sexism in Disney films?)

How did the writer get his or her information?

Do they cite their written sources, or in the case of newspaper and magazine articles, do they name the people they interviewed and quoted?

What is the author trying to achieve?

To inform? To persuade? To give a new interpretation of established facts? To share new facts?

Are there political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional, or personal biases?

What clues can you find about the accuracy and reliability?

Does the language or tone seem unbiased and free of emotion?

Was there an editorial or fact-checking process?

Can you verify any of the information in another source or from personal knowledge?

Are there spelling, grammar, or other typographical errors?