The Spectrum of News Sources graphic is designed to present a visual representation of news sources – highlighting both their quality and partisanship. Author Vanessa Otero created the original version of this chart for infrequent readers in order to help them distinguish “between decent news sources and terrible news sources”. However, frequent and non-frequent readers alike have widely shared and discussed this graphic on social media in the last few weeks. To highlight this relevant topic of news evaluation, UC Merced library staff adapted this graphic for display.
Though not everyone may agree with the placement of sources on this chart, this graphic is intended to create a rich conversation about the evaluation of news publications. We recognize that the nuances of news coverage cannot be captured in a single graphic.
Original News Quality Chart
Otero, Vanessa. “The Reasoning and Methodology Behind the Chart.” All Generalizations are False. 19 Dec. 2016, http://www.allgeneralizationsarefalse.com/?p=65.
Thank you for visiting this page for more information on the reasoning behind the placement of news sources on the Spectrum of News Sources graphic. The graphic is on display at the UC Merced Library, 2nd floor by the book stacks, and we have also included a PDF version here.
PART I: Criteria Used in News Source Placement
Original graphic author, Vanessa Otero, discusses ”The Reasoning and Methodology Behind the Chart” at her blog All Generalizations are False. Below we highlight some of her thinking behind the placement of news sources on the chart.
|Characteristics Found in Levels of Partisan Bias (X Axis)||Characteristics of High and Low Quality Sources (Y Axis)|
Minimally Partisan (Mainstream)
Leans Liberal OR Leans Conservative
Hyper Liberal OR Hyper Conservative
Liberal Fringe OR Conservative Fringe
Factors that Increase the Quality of a Source (High)
Factors that Decrease the Quality of a Source (Low)
Note: The quality axis does not necessarily represent good/bad, true/false or fact/opinion.
PART II: Overall Characteristics to Consider
This is a more comprehensive list of the considerations author Otero used in determining where to place news sources on partisan and quality axes.
Note: Otero recognizes that she did not consider ownership/sponsorship or advertising sources in her placement.
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