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Finding News Sources: Evaluating News Sources

Watchdog Organizations

Watchdog Groups

The following are some press watchdog organizations that examine news sources for bias, inaccuracy, self-censorship, etc. Remember that many of these watchdog organizations also have their own political bias. Be sure to assess their claims critically, and do some research on the watchdog organization you are interested in exploring to find out details like who is funding the organization.

Nonpartisan  Organizations

These organizations conduct unbiased research into new sources, the news industry, and consumers of news.

Assessing News Sources

There are a number of sites out there that you can use to help you evaluate news sources.

University of Wisconsin Guide to Evaluating Sources

Purdue University Library Evaluation Guide

Fact-checking Sites

These sites can help you evaluate political discourse

Project Vote Smart - Check voting records, background, and public statements of candidates.

Fact Check.Org - Check the accuracy of statements, including advertisements, from politicians, pundits and special interest groups. Sponsored by the Annenberg Center,

Sunlight Foundation -  Dedicated to making government as transparent and accountable as possible. Info on campaign finance and lobbyist influence.

Questions to Ask

When you are evaluating a news source, try asking some of the following questions.

  • Who is the author?
  • Who published the article?
  • What's the date?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • Can you detect any political slant or bias?
  • Why was the article written?
  • What sources does your news source cite?
  • Who or what is funding the news source?

Journalism Coverage

Coverage About the News Industry

There are a number of organizations and publications that cover journalism as an industry and offer insight into the reliability of sources.

American Journalism Review  

Columbia Journalism Review

OJR: The Online Journalism Review 

On the Media