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Misinformation and Media Bias (Alexandria)

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Fairness Meter Poster Text (from NewseumED)


fairness meter poster

The Newseum has created a Fairness Meter -- links to video and poster are just above this box.  The poster is in .pdf format; for accessibility purposes here 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