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Library Research - learn how to find information on any topic

Walks you through how to choose a topic, identify keywords, develop a search strategy, evaluate your materials and document your findings.

From: https://serc.carleton.edu/advancegeo/resources/bias.html 

What to look for

Who are the sources?

Be aware of the political perspective of the sources used in a story. Media over-rely on “official” (government, corporate and establishment think tank) sources. For instance, FAIR found that in 40 months of Nightline programming, the most frequent guests were Henry Kissinger, Alexander Haig, Elliott Abrams and Jerry Falwell. Progressive and public interest voices were grossly underrepresented.

To portray issues fairly and accurately, media must broaden their spectrum of sources. Otherwise, they serve merely as megaphones for those in power

  • Count the number of corporate and government sources versus the number of progressive, public interest, female and minority voices. Demand mass media expand their rolodexes; better yet, give them lists of progressive and public interest experts in the community.

 

From Fair.org https://fair.org/take-action-now/media-activism-kit/how-to-detect-bias-in-news-media/ 

What are some indicators of bias on a web page?

  • The language of the document is often extreme; statements have all or nothing connotations.
  • The argument appeals more to the emotions than to logic.
  • Things are worded with the intent to oversimplify or over generalize.
  • The author wishes to present a limited view of the topic.

You should expect bias on webpages that are dedicated to selling you something. Additionally, webpages dedicated to controversial topics are likely to have a bias.

Questions to keep in mind as you seek indicators of bias:

  • What is the author's political point of view?
  • What does the author stand to gain?
  • Who is paying for the website?
  • Does the author present alternate points of view?
    • If so, are those views presented objectively, or with scorn

Authored by Lora K. Kaisler and Dennis O'Connor of the 21st Century Information Fluency Project.  

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