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ENGL 1120

What is a reputable news source?

Characteristics of reputable news sources:

  • publishes accurate content; checks facts, and if errors are made, corrects them
  • uses reputable sources (people, documentation) and verifies those sources
  • presents headlines which accurately represent the article content; headlines don't play on readers' emotions
  • clearly identifies authors of articles with bylines
  • produces its own content; doesn't merely aggregate content from other sources
  • clearly identifies content types (e.g. report vs. editorial)
  • conducts reporting not just editorializing
  • employs journalists who follow the profession's code of ethics

What to look for in reputable sources

Who is the audience (researchers, professors, students, general population, professionals in a specific field) and what is the purpose? Is it trying to sell or persuade or entertain?

Is the source unbiased? Is it published on a reputable, non-biased web site, or in a peer-reviewed, scholarly journal, and not from a newspaper, blog, or wiki?

Does it cite sources? More: Is the source in-depth (more than a page or two), with an abstract, a reference list, and documented research or data?Is there supporting documentation (graphs, charts, illustrations or other supporting documentation)?

Who are the authors? Are they respected and well-known in the field? Are they easily identifiable? Have they written about other similar topics? What are their credentials? Did you Google their names or check their profiles on social media?

Is the source current for your topic?