As you become more interested in the world and begin reading the news, you might discover that not all news articles carry the same level of objectivity. Sometimes the lack of objectivity is on purpose, while other news sources may employ writers who do not maintain high journalistic standards.
Rely On Newspapers Over Other News Sources
Newspapers are generally more credible than magazines because they will usually go through a fact-checking process before being released to the public. However, no source is perfectly accurate because the newspaper's sources may not be credible. For example, if a story is based on the testimony of a single witness and the witness was lying, the story would be inaccurate.
Newspapers have increasingly included hyperlinks to their sources. For instance, if a newspaper reports on a study, it may provide a link to the journal in which the study was originally reported. If you are strongly concerned with the credibility of the article, read the journal article and verify that the journalist did not misinterpret the journal article.
Identify the Type of Source
Differentiate between news, comedy, opinion and commentary. News articles should report strictly on the facts, but some less credible sources may interject bias. For example, an article that covers a government policy might interject that the policy is a good idea, which would simply be the journalist's opinion.
Determine If It is Satire
Many satirical news publications mimic real news so well that it can be difficult to identify them. If a story seems outlandish, try looking for it in other newspapers. Most real stories will be reported in more than one newspaper.
Look for a Conflict of Interest
Consider whether the newspaper would have a reason for an obvious bias or conflict of interest. For example, newspapers that advertise investment products may be more likely to portray the Stock Market in a positive light. Even if the market is crashing, some sources may claim that the crash is temporary. Also, if the newspaper comes from a particular country and appears suspiciously uncritical of that country, do not take the positive coverage seriously.
Pay Attention to How Arguments are Presented
When reading opinion and commentary, beware of arguments by adjective. The news might state "the incompetent mayor proposed an increase in taxes." The word "incompetent" should be ignored unless the author can provide evidence of why the hypothetical mayor is incompetent. Instead, pay close attention to inductive and deductive reasoning when determining if the commentator has a good case.