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Ekstrom Library

GEOG 300: Globalization and Diversity


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Follow Along

Tutorial Review

  • Why is fairness and balance in the news important?
  • What strategies have you used to find fair and balanced news?

News v. Opinion


The writer reports the news. People’s opinions may appear as part of that reporting (“According to Mr. Smith…”), but the writer does not explicitly present his/her own views.


The writer shares his or her own views and explicitly seeks to persuade readers to adopt those views as their own.

Types of News

An article written to inform readers about recent events. The author reports essential information (who/what/where/when/why/how).

An article written to inform readers about recent events. The author reportsand attempts to deepen understanding of recent events—for example, by providing background information and other kinds of additional context.

Compared with news articles, feature articles are often more creative or exploratory and less focused on efficient delivery of essential information.

For example, while a news article may detail the most recent revelations about a politician’s extramarital affair, a feature article may offer in-depth reporting on a single aspect of the revelations, or the revelations may function as a “news peg” for the feature article’s more general exploration of infidelity.

Other types of news content that are generally categorized as “feature” writing include how-to-do-it articles (for example, how to shop for a new phone) and profiles (for example, an article about a movie actor starring in a recently-released film).

Types of Opinion

An unsigned opinion piece that represents the views of the news organization’s editorial staff.

An opinion article by a staff columnist or guest columnist. (If a guest columnist, the writer’s credentials will almost always be identified.)

An evaluation of a book, movie, album, live performance, etc.

Other Types of Sources

A document produced by a government agency that includes data and statistics from government and/or academic research studies and makes recommendations for policy changes and interventions.

A website with information of various depth and quality, such as a .org or .edu website. This information will either be credited to a specific author or the organization as a whole.

An article published by an academic journal that communicates original research findings and/or analysis for other researchers.

Evaluating Sources

Is the article trying to...

Inform with information icon, sell with dollar sign icon, pursude with megaphone icon, entertain with video player icon.

Check out the AllSides Media Bias Ratings.

Fact-check claims by following up on original research or looking for information from professional fact-checkers like Snopes, Verify This, or Politifact

Verify article false No, US citizens will not need a visa to travel to most of Europe in 2024.

Activity: Types of Sources

Directions: Skim the article assigned to your group. As a group, discuss the following questions: 

  • What type of source is it? How do you know? 
  • Do you think this article is credible? Why or why not?
  • Would you use this article to argue for or against the debate topic? 

Debate topic: Can cocoa be produced ethically and sustainably?

Post-workshop survey