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YELLOW: Be critical, these sources generally follow professional ethical standards but will vary on the partisan continuum.
NewsGuard is a browser plugin that rates more than 2000 news and information sites on their trustworthiness. As you browse through social media or through web results, news items will include a NewsGuard icon.
Most sites are either rated Green (credible and transparent) or Red (fails to meet standards of credibility and transparency). A yellow icon designates a satire site and blue designates a platform, a site that hosts content rather than produces content. Clicking on the icon will bring up a "nutrition label" that provides an evaluative description of the site and list of sources. See sample label for Politico.
Keep in mind, "not all sites rated green are equal." Green sites only have to get a passing score of 60 out of 100 points to get a green icon. So for example all the following are rated Green: Fox News (75/100), MSNBC (82.5/100), and NPR (100/100).
Read more about NewsGuard:
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?
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.
Read Opposing Views
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.