Misinformation, Disinformation, and Bias

Identifying misinformation, its various types, and both personal and news media biases

Bias in News Media

News organizations and professional journalists operate within a code of ethics to try to ensure their reporting is as fair and reliable as possible. This entails fact checking, vetting sources, and doing their best to present the facts. However a journalist or publication can do all these things and still show a biased perspective in what stories they choose to cover and how they choose to cover them. In fact, many people will choose one news source over another due to that bias!

Rather than avoiding biased news media altogether or simply taking that bias at face value, ask some questions about what you are reading and who wrote it: 

  • Who published the article? Does the organization have a reputation for having a particular slant or bias in their reporting?
  • Who wrote it? What are the author's credentials and expertise on the subject?
  • Have they written about the topic (or similar topics) before?
  • Do they use evidence to support their claims and arguments?
  • What sources and evidence are they using?

These questions can be answered by doing online searches beyond the article to learn more about the author, the news organization, and to corroborate the article's claims with articles from other news sources on the same topic. 

Five Types and Five Forms of Media Bias

Understanding Bias from the News Literacy Project identifies five types and five forms of bias found in news media. PDF version.

Media Bias

Where to Find Reliable News Sources

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