News: Information about recent events or happenings, especially as reported by means of newspapers, website, radio, television, and other forms of media (Free Dictionary)
"... news remains an important part of public life. More than seven-in-ten U.S. adults follow national and local news somewhat or very closely." The Modern News Consumer - Pew Research Center, 7 July 2016
Partisan Bias: The inclination to interpret an issue or situation through a party's ideology
74% of U.S. adults surveyed by the Pew Research Center responded that news organizations are biased when covering political and social issues -- The Modern News Consumer Pew Research Center, 7 July 2016
Post-Trust: 68% of Americans have little or no confidence in the mass media (newspapers, TV, and radio) to report news fully, accurately, and fairly -- up 8% from 2015 - Gallup Organization poll September 2015 & 2016
Steve Inskeep of NPR's Morning Edition calls this a post-trust era -- a recognition that "any news source can steer your wrong at times." -- Post Truth or Post Trust? Undermain
Multiple Purposes: A news source does not deliver monolithic content. Different news article types are written for different purposes. For instance, an article may intend to convey facts (e.g. news story) or to give an opinion (e.g. editorial)
News Story - written in a direct way with no editorial comments
Feature Story - written to inform or entertain, may include more of the writer's individual style and judgment
Editorial - present the opinion of the publisher or editor(s)
Review - a critique of an art form, such as a movie or a book
Why become a critical consumer of news media?
Increase your own credibility
Identify suitable sources and use with confidence
Reduce the spread of misinformation
Strategies for critically consuming news
Know your news sources
Corroborate & investigate
Look at language
Recognize the author's goal
Does this news organization have a specific perspective?
Liberal Fringe -- Hyper Liberal -- Leans Liberal -- Mainstream -- Leans Conservative -- Hyper Conservative -- Conservative Fringe
Is this story accurate or true?
Can you verify the story in other reputable news organizations?
Is the content designed to create a strong emotional reaction or not?
Recognize: What is the author trying to accomplish?