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INQ 300 Making Life Count: Evaluating News Sources

How do I evaluate a news source?

These sites have excellent guides to help you evaluate news sources.

University of Wisconsin Guide to Evaluating Sources

Purdue University Library Evaluation Guide

Watchdog Groups

Watchdog Groups

The following are some press watchdog organizations that examine news sources for bias, inaccuracy, self-censorship, etc.

Please note that some of these organizations have their own political bias!! Assess their claims critically, and do your research on the organization. Look at the "about us" link to find out who is funding it, who's on the board of trustees, etc.

Nonpartisan  Organizations

These organizations conduct unbiased research into new sources, the news industry, and consumers of news.

Fact-checking sites

These sites can help you evaluate political discourse

Project Vote Smart - Check voting records, background, and public statements of candidates.

Fact Check.Org - Check the accuracy of statements, including advertisements, from politicians, pundits and special interest groups. Sponsored by the Annenberg Center,

Sunlight Foundation -  Dedicated to making government as transparent and accountable as possible. Info on campaign finance and lobbyist influence.

Questions to Ask

When you are evaluating a news source, try asking some of the following questions.

  • Who is the author?
  • Who published the article?
  • What's the date?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • Can you detect any political slant or bias?
  • Why was the article written?
  • What sources does your news source cite?
  • Who or what is funding the news source?

Subject Guide

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