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Fake News: Media Bias Checking Tools

How to Identify and Avoid Fake News

How do we determine if a news organization is biased?

The phrase "________ is biased" is thrown around so often that the meaning behind it has become jumbled. There are so many accusations of bias with different news organizations that it is difficult to know what news to trust. While it is no secret that news organizations often have political leanings, meaning they lean towards liberal or conservative, that does not mean they automatically can't be trusted. Bias becomes an issue with news organizations when factual reporting becomes compromised. In order for news organizations to have the label of bias, there needs to be a documented history over a period of time that shows bias. This means there should be multiple articles over time that contain a lack of fairness and balance. Think loaded language, direct tone and one-sided content. 

The best thing to do is to look at the "About Us" on every page to determine if any news organization has the potential for bias. There are also tools that can help determine this. The information below will guide you through what to look for in an "About Us" and the online tools you can use. 

News/Media Map

What news sources are trustworthy? Which are notoriously biased? Answer these questions and more by looking at this news graphic created by Vanessa Otero. This is a great visualization of of where current news/media outlets fall on the current political spectrum. 


Media Bias Fact Check

This is an independent online media outlet that categorizes news/media organizations. Each news/media organization is listed on a partisan and factual reporting scale.

Use the search bar at the top right corner to type in the news organization you are checking.

Additional Resources to Check Media Bias