YELLOW: Be critical, these sources generally follow professional ethical standards but will vary on the partisan continuum.
News sources - Newspapers, magazines, and broadcast news inform the general public.
Reputable news organizations operate under codes of ethics and professional standards. While journalism associations, individual news organizations, and journalists themselves often have their own "code of ethics;" most share these basic principles: truthfulness, accuracy, objectivity, impartiality, fairness, and public accountability.
Read more about Journalism Ethics and Standards.
Read Beyond the Headlines
Don't just accept outrageous headlines. Read the story and critically evaluate the content. Analyze it through the eyes of an editor or fact checker.
Consume Local News
Be informed of what's happening in your neighborhood, school board, city council, county government, state legislature, and sate supreme court. Subscribe to local newspapers and listen to your local NPR station.
The UW Libraries subscribes to many Washington State newspapers.
The Washington Post and The New York Times offer subscription discounts to students, staff, and faculty. Learn more here.
Ask: Am I learning every day what I need to know?
The SMART Check is particularly helpful when evaluating news stories. Determine if your news source is SMART before believing what is reported.
Source: Who or what is the source?
Motive: Why do they say so?
Authority: Who wrote the story?
Review: Go over the story carefully.
Two-source Test: Double check everything if possible.
Readers, authors, journalists, editors - we all have bias. Being aware of our own bias and recognizing the bias of others will help us to be savvy news consumers.