Evaluating News Information
Evaluating news information has two phases: vertical reading and lateral reading.
Vertical reading is the first phase of news evaluation and refers to using information contained within the news story to preliminarily evaluate its quality.
The purpose of the vertical reading phase is to determine whether the news story is of high enough quality to evaluate further through lateral reading.
|Technique||Quality News||Fake News|
|News judgment based on the Seven News Values||
Is significant to the general public
Is new, immediate, and current
Is related to other current events or content; is covered by other news outlets
Is needed or demanded by the public
Is original reporting based on relevant, credible sources
Adds value as information in the public interest
Is objective; or, biases are identified and managed
Is insignificant to the public
Is not new; does not address immediate or current events
Is unrelated to other topics in the public interest; is not being covered by other news outlets
Is not necessary or of interest to the public
Is unoriginal or derived from prior reporting
Adds no value in the public interest, or distracts from other important news
Is influenced by an advertiser, politician, or other private interest; is biased
|News Story Type||Analyze the rhetorical devices in a news story to determine its type||
If you determine that you've found a quality source of hard or soft news, the second phase of evaluation is lateral reading.
Lateral reading is the technique of evaluating a news source by researching the source itself.
Lateral reading involves evaluating both the news source and the information presented.
Lateral reading includes
reading about the same story from a variety of perspectives (for instance, reading coverage of the same topic from local, regional, national, and international newspapers)
reading a variety of sources about a topic (for instance, looking up basic facts and background information in encyclopedias; reading story source material such as official reports, interview transcripts, regulation or other primary sources; reading other content written by the same journalist; etc.).
|Quality News||Fake News|
|Evaluating the news source||
Publishing outlet (ex. news site, news show, publication, etc.):
|Evaluating the information presented||