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JOUR 110 Fundamentals of Journalism

Guide Overview

As you begin the practice of journalism, evaluating the resources you use in your reporting is key to ensure presenting accurate and useful information. Below you will find tools to guide you in assessing the reliability and relevance of both print and online sources.

Information Literacy

Information literacy is the ability be able to identify:

  • what information you need
    • what's your thesis statement?
    • what question are you trying to support?
  • where to locate that information
    • how to search and find library sources
    • how to sort through websites
    • how to obtain primary sources like interviews and historical documents
  • how to evaluate that information 
    • what sources are known to be accurate and factual
    • what socioeconomic contexts surround your interview subject
  • how to effectively use that information for the task at hand (reporting, research, debate)

Why is this important? Because it will help gather the most up-to-date, factual information in the most efficient way.  You will be able to present that information in effective manner to support your research and reporting, and allow others to expand on that work. 

Consuming News

How do you sort through the huge swath of information we are inundated with everyday? What's fact and what's opinion?

  • Read multiple outlets.
  • In breaking news situations, wait for full details to emerge. 
  • Be aware of indefinite language such as 'likely' or 'probably' that can indicate opinion or supposition rather than factual reporting.
  • Be aware of when and how anonymous sources are used.
  • Verify before you share.