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Research 101 - Finding News: News & News Articles

Get the latest news on finding & evaluating news!

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A folded newspaperWhat do we mean by News?

News gives us the latest headlines, opinions, & isome nformation on current events. News stories come out often because of something that has just happened that grabs one's attention & emotions. Often without all of the facts yet, if any.

News & news articles are available from the following:

  • Newspapers (print or online)
  • Newspaper web sites & News station websites
  • Newswires

Other sources for news:

  • Social media & blogs
  • Organization sites--all kinds of organizations put out news about themselves or their causes

News comes in all kinds of formats:

  • Printed newspapers
  • Web pages & web sites
  • News videos

Image by Andrys and courtesy of Pixabay. Retrieved from https://pixabay.com/photos/newspapers-leeuwarder-courant-press-444447, June 2019.

Why Read the News? What's Its Purpose?

  • Reading the news allows us to stay up-to-date on the latest current events locally, nationally, and internationally
  • Reading news makes us more informed citizens
  • The news can also launch readers into academic research

Yet there is a high potential for the inclusion of rumors, slander, mistakes, emotional bias, & other unintentional or intentional misuse of information. This is why professors often do not want news articles used when writing papers. When you do read news, make sure the news you read is accurate! 

That means, when you read a news article, and it cites data, go straight to the source when possible and double-check the data. No matter what news site is giving it to you.

How do you evaluate News?

First, read beyond the headlines! Headlines are meant to sensationalize & dramatize, & they often misrepresent the truth.

Look for the following in the news article/web page:

  • How current it is: when was it published/posted?
  • Who wrote it?
  • Does the writer refer to or cite any authoritative sources for the information provided?
  • Has the writer represented all of the data from those sources or just the few he or she wants to show?
  • Has the writer put the data from the source in the appropriate context so as not to slant the reader's perspective?
  • What is the perspective it is written from? (liberal/conservative, nonpartisan, etc.)
  • What is the purpose for writing it? (Sensationalize? Frighten? Inform?)
  • What does it look like & how does it sound? Do its pictures or words convey a sense of emotionalism or sensationalism or a skewing of reality?

Sources of News are Not the Same:

News sources are not the same. Then again, maybe many are?

Don't forget: News media is big business! Buyer & reader beware!

Next: Fake News