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Avoiding Fake News

This guide defines fake news and discusses how to spot it. It also provides links to fact-checking websites.

Fact-Checking Resources

Fact-checking websites can help you investigate claims to help you determine whether what you hear or read is true. These resources can help you determine the legitimacy of a claim, but even fact-checking websites should be examined critically. 

  • FactCheck.org

    A project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center that checks the accuracy of political statements, news, and claims

  • PolitiFact

    Run by the Poynter Institute, a journalism school, this site checks and ranks political claims

  • Snopes.com

    This site, which has operated since 1995, fact-checks urban legends, rumors, and news

  • Washington Post Fact Checker

    Fact checks political and governmental topics

  • LinkedIn

    This professional networking site can be used to check the qualifications and expertise of authors


CSUN University Library. Fact-Checking News. https://libguides.csun.edu/fact-checking/home

Media Bias

Media bias occurs when journalists or news organizations allow their own opinions to affect the news that they report and the way that they report it.

 

Types of media bias:

  • Partisan - A type of bias in which a journalist’s political views affect news coverage.
  • Demographic - A type of bias in which race, gender, ethnicity or other factors—such as culture or economic class—affect news coverage.
  • Corporate - A type of bias in which the business or advertising interests of a news outlet, or its parent company, influence how—or even whether—a story is reported.
  • "Big story" - A type of bias in which journalists’ perceptions of an event or development as a major, important story can cause them to miss key details and misrepresent key facts.
  • Neutrality - A type of bias in which a journalist or news outlet tries so hard to avoid appearing biased to anyone that the coverage actually misrepresents the facts.

 

Forms of media bias:

  • Framing - The way that journalists approach and organize a story, which can affect what it emphasizes.
  • Story selection - The process that news outlets use to decide which issues and events to cover.
  • Absence of fairness and balance - The failure of a straight news report to present all relevant viewpoints on an event or issue in an accurate, impartial way
  • Tone - The use of words and phrases that affect the audience’s perception of the issue or event being covered.
  • Flawed sourcing - A straight news report that neglects to include all of the people, organizations, documents and other providers of information that are needed to make the reporting accurate, fair and comprehensive

 

Select the image below to visit an interactive media bias chart, which ranks popular news sources by both political bias and overall reliability.


News Literacy Project. “Five Types of Bias.” https://newslit.org/educators/resources/understanding-bias/.

Ad Fontes Media. Interactive Media Bias Chart (Free Public Edition). https://adfontesmedia.com/interactive-media-bias-chart/. Accessed 30 Nov. 2021.