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CST 110: Public Speaking Guide(AN-Karimova)

This public speaking guide is created for students in CST 110 with Prof. Karimova.

Fairness Meter Poster Text (from NewseumED)


fairness meter poster

The Newseum has created a Fairness Meter. The poster is in .pdf format; is the text of the poster (from NewseumED):


Unfortunately, news doesn't come with labels of "FAIR" or "BIASED."  But you can develop your own "fairness meter" by using three key factors to measure how straight or slanted a story is.


Word Choice

Does the story simply present the facts or lead you to make judgments about them?

Example of Leading Language:  The superintendent's pet project failed spectacularly less than three months after she shoved it through the approval process.

Look for:

  • Loaded adjectives or verbs
  • Patterns of very positive or negative descriptions


Does the story provide the big picture or just a slice of what's going on?

Example of added context: Prior to accepting the role as city transportation manager, Smith received a PhD in urban planning and ran a private limo company.

Look for:

  • Historical comparisons
  • Explanations about sources
  • Related facts or data


Does the story help you understand multiple perspectives, or only one?

Example of a counterpoint: While supporters say the new tax bill will increase education funding, critics point out that middle-class families will bear most of the burden.

Look for:

  • Counterarguments to key claims or conclusions
  • Responses to accusations


Media Bias Checks

Even typically reliable sources, whether mainstream or alternative, corporate or nonprofit, rely on particular media frames to report stories and select stories based on different notions of newsworthiness. The best thing to do in our contemporary media environment is to read/watch/listen widely and often, and to be critical of the sources we share and engage with on social media.

Here are some websites that can help you identify media bias.

Media Bias Tutorial

Comparison: Same News Story from Different News Sources

News Media Codes of Ethics