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JMC 102: Journalism & Mass Communications: Evaluating Information

Tools for information seeking and gathering


Personal steps

Identify emotions attached to topic.
Find unbiased reference sources for proper review of topic (such as Credo Reference).

Intellectual courage to seek authoritative voices on topic that may be outside of thesis.


Source steps

Authority established. Does the author have education and experience in that field?
Purpose/Point of view of source. Does the author have an agenda beyond education or information?
Publisher? Does the publisher have an agenda?
List of sources (bibliography). Is the evidence sound?
Year of publication. Does the year of publication effect the information?

JMC 102 Challenge

  • Use the Journal Search Box to locate journals with a conservative, liberal, and moderate bias. 
  • Think of a controversial topic (environment, climate change, abortion, spying, whistleblowing, gun control, etc.)
  • Read a brief article from each type of publication and be prepared to demonstrate your search and discuss your results.  What differences and similarities did you notice?  Did anything in the articles influence your beliefs or challenge what you know? 
Conservative                         Moderate                                    Liberal                                 
America Economist American Prospect          
American Spectator Newsweek Counterpunch
Human Events Time Mother Jones
National Review US News & World Report      Nation   
New American USA Today Magazine New Republic
Policy Review Progressive

Is a publication biased?

Below is a brief article that describes some features of liberal/conservative/moderate publications.  Remember to include different viewpoints in your research.

Test Your Critical Thinking Skills

The importance of evaluating information in "Real Life"

Below is a news investigation about a notable former faculty member, Anoop Shankar, from WVU.  He worked there, conducted research, and was nominated for prestigious awards.  The professor who was responsible for reviewing Shankar's research, publications, and accomplishments noticed some inconsistencies and a scandal has unfolded. 

 Read the report from NBC news:  Ivory Tower Phony? Sex, Lies and Fraud Alleged in W. Va. University Case

Test your research skills by locating articles that Anoop Shankar published. Does his research have an impact on West Virginia residents?