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COMM 370: Public Relations (Storr)

Tools to help with your: Social Media Assignment, Weekly "In the News" Assignment, Reflection Paper, Case Study, and PENN Games.

News

Bias in the News

Be mindful of the bias of your news source. Bias can contribute to the credibility and content of your article. If you're not familiar with the source, look for an "About" page on their website or Google the company to learn more. Their bias will likely influence how they "spin" the news.

Examples:

  1. Breitbart news  |  About Brietbart
  2. Mother Jones news  |  About Mother Jones
  3. Christian Science Monitor article  |  About the Christian Science Monitor

Evaluation

No matter where you find your information you should critically consider who wrote it and where/when it's coming from before using it for a college assignment.

  • Is this good information (could be verified elsewhere)?
  • Does it provide enough detail?
  • Does it answer the questions I have about the subject/tell me something new/support or challenge my perspective?
  • What makes the author an authority?
  • When was it published/created?

Credibility, Content & Currency

One way to quickly evaluate the information in front of you is to consider the "3 C's":

Credibility (their expertise makes your paper more authoritative)

  • Who is the author? (okay to "Google" them)
  • What makes them an expert on this subject?
  • Is the author's intention to educate (share knowledge) or persuade?

Content

  • Is it good enough for college-level research? Or is it too basic? Too "scholarly" (assume a level of understanding beyond your grasp)?
  • Does it provide you with new knowledge?
  • Does it support or challenge what you already know about the subject?

Currency

  • Is it current enough for your research needs? Or could you likely find something more recent?
  • Does it provide you with an accurate snapshot of the time? Fill in blanks of recent events? Provide a history or synthesis of relevant information?