Transparency: Good news sources clearly mark opinion columns as opinion, disclose conflicts of interest, indicate in stories where information was obtained and how it was verified, and provide links to sources.
Look for signs of a method–a method of verification. If you can see how the author or reporter checked or corroborated the evidence–if the method is explicit–that is a sign of more credible work. Looking for these signs–and identifying what evidence a story contains–isn't as hard as it might sound.
Examine each information source you locate and assess sources using the following criteria:
An evaluation of news in terms of, but not limited to, accuracy, fairness, objectiveness, trustworthiness, completeness, and the absence of biases. Learn more in: News Credibility and Media Literacy in the Digital Age. A measure of how trustworthy and believable a piece of news appears to be to an audience.
The alternative press consists of printed publications that provide a different or dissident viewpoint than that provided by major mainstream and corporate newspapers, magazines, and other print media.
Independent and accurate news reporting helps highlight sensibilities, exposes reactions, and influences social attitudes.
The definition of a credible source can change depending on the discipline, but in general, for academic writing, a credible source is one that is unbiased and is backed up with evidence. When writing a research paper, always use and cite credible sources.
Tips for Checking the Source
If you find a story that interests you or impacts you, do as much research about it as possible. If it's an international story or one which takes place out of state, see if you can find sources from the area in which it happened. If it's local, research what other local sources say about it.
Where should you look to determine the accuracy of a source?
It is important to use credible sources in an academic research paper because your audience will expect you to have backed up your assertions with credible evidence. ... Using evidence that does not come from a credible source of information will not convince your reader that your claim is plausible or even correct.
In unreliable sources, bias and offensive language can be seen because they are usually not written for the purpose of informing. If the source only evokes emotion in the reader (such as anger), it's likely an unreliable source.
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