List the CRAAP Test score for both news articles you’re comparing for Essay Two (just the TOTALS for each, not the category breakdown), then cite both articles according to MLA 8th formatting for Works Cited.
Who Tells the “Truth” More Truthfully-and Why?
FOCUS: Internet Searching, Peer-Reviewed Sources, Comparing Sources, Bias in Reporting, “Fake News.”
Twenty-five years ago, all one had to do to find out what was going on in the world, was to pick up a newspaper or turn on the TV for the evening news. Through career print reporters or network correspondents, consumers expected and arguably received reliably sourced and reported stories on current events. But today, with the explosion of news and social media sites on the internet, it’s becoming more and more difficult to discern what’s reliable and what been referred to as “fake news.” With the purported sum of human knowledge only a Google-click away, how can you tell what’s true or not when the “truth,” some people believe, can sometimes be as reliable as the weather?
For this essay, you will concentrating on Internet searching to see how various sites deal with the same issue, and how viewpoints can be skewed by opinion. Some news sites are considered “bias-neutral”, where other sites tend to lean toward a more progressive or conservative agenda. Your first step is to search for a current and POPULAR news story –one that’ll be covered by all the news sites–as a popular story will be widely reported and easier to find several different viewpoints. Your story should be no older than the date this essay was assigned.
STEP ONE – Search for a news story described above on one of these “bias-neutral” websites ONLY: CNN.com, ABCNews.com, BBCNews.com or NJ.com. You only need one article from ANY ONE of these sites. Try to go broad, as you’ll have a better chance of finding more coverage. DON’T choose stories from the Opinion or Editorial pages as these stories, by their very nature, are biased.
STEP TWO: Search for another news story covering the same issue on one of these sites ONLY: FOXNews.com, MSNBC.com, breitbart.com, Slate.com, huffingtonpost.com, wsj.com, or nytimes.com. Again, you only need one news story, but it’ll need to cover the new story as you’re covering in Step One. The same rule for Opinion pages above applies.
STEP THREE: Read both stories and compare and contrast, using the CRAAP test as a gauge, who makes the better argument and why, as who tells the story more fully and with less bias. Keep an eye out for any instances of so-called “fake news,” and if any viewpoint skews from one extreme to the other.
KEEP IN MIND – You don’t necessarily have to agree with what the writers are saying. You’re only going to determine who tells the story with less bias. The object is to persuade, whether what they write is convincing enough to change opinion, and score high enough on the CRAAP test to be reliable.
FOR YOUR THIRD SOURCE – In addition to your two news stories, pick one (1) of the three (3) fact-checking sites in the Lesson One folder: Factcheck, FAIR, or The Checklist for Fake News. Use the criteria listed in one (or all) of the sites to analyze your news stories for accuracy and bias. Or use their search to look for your exact news story for analysis.
Essay will be a 5-7–page (doubled space) argumentative essay that supports your position of which news coverage of the SAME news story tells that story more accurately, and with less bias. Essay must follow MLA 8th guidelines for formatting and citing, including an MLA 8th Works Cited on a separate last page. The essay must have THREE (3) sources, one from each news site you’re comparing, then a third from one (or all, if you want) of the three fact-check sites in this module (FAIR.org, FactCheck.org, or Checkology.org) using the fact-checking principles in these sites as a basis for your analysis.