Many thanks to Amy Sonnie, Emily Weak, and Christine Ianieri, Oakland Public Library, for the content of this guide, and who authored the curriculum and handouts this guide is based on. Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Fake News | Completely fabricated information; old news repackaged to look new; images altered to misrepresent reality; or stories that spin bits of real news into distorted or shocking claims. Fake news is intentionally deceitful, often in order to lure traffic, make quick money for the publisher, trick readers/viewers (a hoax), or deceive people for political agenda. Satire may be fake, but it’s not as mean.
Media Bias | Information that is unfair, unbalanced or incomplete in its discussion of an issue. BIased media often lacks context and diversity, and relies on stereotypes, loaded imagery, easy explanations or highly partisan influence. Bias can occur on purpose or because the creator simply didn’t seek out balanced sources, ask deep questions, do good research or provide enough context.
Editorial Perspective | Every reporter, editor or publisher has a point of view. When the point of view is transparent to the reader/viewer, it can help us understand where the creator is coming from, and to evaluate (on our own) whether we agree and what perspectives might be missing. When the perspective is hidden or the reporter denies their bias, then news quality suffers. This is why it’s important to think critically about everything we read, watch and listen to.