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Critical Evaluation of News Sources

Fake News or Something Else?

  • Credible Journalism: Passes the CRAAP test and follows ethical practices in reporting. 
  • Clickbait: Uses wild headlines to generate "clicks" on websites and earn money from ads. Possibly credible, but proceed with caution. 
  • Politically Partisan News: Uses slanted language targeted toward a specific political affiliation. Possibly credible, but proceed with caution. 
  • Fake News: Fabricated or twisted information and data. 
  • Conspiracies: Invokes a plot by sinister and powerful groups (often the "other side" politically). 
  • DeepFakes: Fake videos of events or people. Meant to mislead and cause harm. 
  • Satire & Memes: Humor, irony, exaggeration. Meant to be a joke, but sometimes hard to judge. 
  • Authoritarian News: Propaganda produced under government sanction in authoritarian nations. 
  • Junk Science: Discredited information about scientific measures. Scientifically false. Conspiracies. 
  • Hate News: Active promotion of racism, misogyny, homophobia, and other forms of discrimination. 

(Tags and information adapted from and

Five Core Principles of Journalism

  1. Truth and Accuracy: Getting the facts right and using them accurately. Not twisting the facts in order to prove a point that they don't actually prove. Fact checking and corroborating information before using it. 
  2. Independence: Not acting or writing on behalf of any group or affiliation, whether it is personal or professional. These may be political, corporate, or cultural. Any conflicts of interest should be declared. 
  3. Fairness and Impartiality: News stories don't always need to represent all of the sides of a story, but they provide important context and be balanced when possible. Neutrality isn't always possible, as in the cases of gross human rights violations, but facts should be presented fairly. 
  4. Humanity: Journalism has a heavy impact on the lives of those reading the news and those who are being reported on. While bad things need to be reported on, journalists must remember the power they wield and use it responsibly by following the rest of these principles. 
  5. Accountability: When errors happen, they must be admitted to and corrected. Apologies should be sincere.