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Fake News and Media Bias: Home

Beware of Adjectives & Experts

Word choice is a key tool media uses to subtly convey bias. Adjectives added to headlines can create bias. Headlines should be factual and unbiased because biased headlines can be misleading, conveying excitement when the story is not exciting, expressing approval or disapproval.

Media use experts and analysts to lend credibility to their story. Think about where the person's expertise coming from? Are they a government official, a think tank spokesman or an academic? Be aware...an expert does not mean unbiased.

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Evaluating Sources

Look for currency, relevance, authority, accuracy and purpose.

  • Currency - is this a recent article, if the article is not recent, the claims may no longer be relevant or have been proven wrong
  • Relevance - is the article relevant, some articles may appear to be addressing a current topic but you must read past the headline to determine relevance
  • Authority - who is the author, what are the author's credentials, what is the domain of the website (websites can mimic a legitimate source -  look carefully), is it blog or a news source. is the website satirical or a hoax
  • Accuracy - is this article from an unbiased source and can the content be verified by multiple sources (if it appears in only one publication with no links to sources, it is very likely to be inaccurate especially with images that are shared)
  • Purpose - does this article provoke an emotional response because the intent of a valid news sources is to inform (inaccurate news articles are often written for the sole purpose of provoking an emotion such as anger, outrage, fear, happiness, excitement)

Some red flags to be aware of...

  • ALL CAPS
  • Clickbait - lots of ads or pop-up banners
  • Fake domains mimicking real websites such as abcnews.com.co

There are several sources you can consult to fact-check claims on dubious websites and social media:

Difference between Fake News & Media Bias

"Media bias differs from fake news because the underlying facts are true but may be presented selectively or misleadingly to encourage the reader to think a particular way."

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