The Internet is often called the “Information Superhighway,” and for good reason. Massive amounts of information vie for the attention of Internet users from countless sources. It’s easy for a media consumer to become overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information that is available with a few clicks of a mouse.
Sorting through all that information — news, analysis, fact, opinion — and figuring out which information you can trust can be challenging. But as a journalist, a future journalist or a thoughtful media consumer, you’ve come to the right place. This course will give you the knowledge and tools to sift through content of all types and sort fact from opinion, news from nonsense.
Looking for more? We also offer a Language Primer, Numeracy Primer and a host of other courses you can build into Digital Course Packs to supplement your syllabus. Let NewsU be your online resource for teaching tools.
What will I learn
In this course, you will learn to:
- Tell the difference between factual content and opinions
- Determine which content, whether a “news” story or a restaurant review, can be trusted
- Discern whether content is balanced and fair
- Identify several types of factual, opinion and advertising content, including promoted content and “native” content
- Evaluate whether a news story provides enough context for the audience to understand its importance and value
- Avoid the “two-sides” trap that often creates a sense of false balance
- Decide when it is necessary to inform your audience that a particular perspective on an issue is simply not true
- Consider whether a story offers information from expert sources who represent multiple perspectives — without promoting a particular viewpoint
- Become an informed consumer who thinks critically about media encountered online
Who should take this course
Journalists, editors, journalism students, educators, media organizations managers, anyone who consumes media online, in print or on TV or radio
Pamela Hogle is a freelance writer and editor. She holds master’s degrees in journalism and canine studies. Pam has taught editing at USFSP and worked as a copy editor at The Jerusalem Report and as a technical and marketing writer for NDS Technologies.