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Fake News: News Literacy

How to Choose your News

News Media "Watchdogs"

These sources are media watch groups that report on misleading news and seek to prevent inaccurate and misleadning news.    

Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR): A national media watch groups. Offers documented criticism of media bias and censorship and works for free speech and greater diversity in the press.

CounterSpin: Weekly radio show that critically examines major news stories and that addresses issues that mainstream media may not have addressed. Seeks to explore biased and inaccurate news and censored stories.

On the Media: Weekly radio show on how the media shapes our world view (from WNYC)

ProPublica: An independent, non-profit investigative journalism newsroom. Seeks to exposee exploitation and to serve the public interest. 

Why news literacy?

In recent years fake and misleading news has become prevalent. It is perhaps unsurprising that Oxford Dictionaries named "post-truth" as its 2016 "Word of the Year." This guide can help readers evaluate news sources for accuracy and harmful bias.

Reasons that fake news has become a growing problem include:

These factors reflect a need to carefully evaluate news sources and where and how we get our news.

Key Resources

Glossary: The Language of News Literacy (Stony Brook University)

Tips on How to Spot Fake News (

  • Consider the source.
  • Read beyond the headline.
  • Check the author.
  • What's the support?
  • Check the date.
  • Check your biases.
  • Consult the experts.

Six Questions that Will Tell You Which Media to Trust (American Press Institute)

  1. Content type
  2. Source
  3. Evidence
  4. Interpretation
  5. Completeness
  6. Knowledge gained

Key Concepts for Media Literacy (Media Smarts):

  1. Media are constructions.
  2. Audiences negotiate meaning.
  3. Media have commercial implications.
  4. Media have social and political implications.
  5. Each medium has a unique aesthetic form.

Allsides: Compares news coverage from left, right, and center sources

Truth, Truthiness, Triangulation: A News Literacy Toolkit for a Post-Truth World (School Library Journal)