Let’s face it: A lot of what is shared on the socialNet is NOT Original Material. We usually post other people’s articles and then maybe (maybe) comment on them.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with that.  Maybe it’s a little lazy, but it’s also an easy, shorthand way to communicate something we believe. This approach tends to value opinion over factual news reporting.  Granted:  Factual news can be dry, obscure, and confusing.  We want to know:  “What does it mean?”

Credibility is key.

Soooo … What about those sources?

The Credibility Profile

The graph/map of news media sources at the top of the page is fairly well known and accepted.  It reflects a general consensus on news reporting, analysis, and opinion.

I’ve posted this directory profile of news sources as a Qwik Reference for postings  because…

  • #trumpTrolls and Russian disinformation agents are fond of posting articles from unreliable sources
  • Most of the rest of us are not in a position to reality check the claims being made in the articles
  • But many/most of the posted articles fall in the Extreme Right Bias and Right Bias categories which are untrustworthy

Suggestion: If you are presented with a story published by a source which has a proven pattern of bias, then:

  1. Google quickly to see if the story is also published by other, more reputable sources (This is a quick way to identify outright “fake news“)
  2. You may want to scan these other articles to see if they share the analysis of the meaning of the story (i.e. “the spin“)

The Pattern

Disinformation Agents :::> Unreliable articles

Unreliable articles :::> Disinformation Agents

EXTREME RIGHT BIAS

A questionable source exhibits one or more of the following: extreme bias, overt propaganda, poor or no sourcing to credible information and/or is fake news. Fake News is the deliberate attempt to publish hoaxes and/or disinformation for the purpose of profit or influence. Sources listed in the Questionable Category may be very untrustworthy and should be fact checked on a per article basis. Please note sources on this list are not considered fake news unless specifically written in the notes section for that source.

The Gateway Pundit - Right Bias - Fake News

  • Factual Reporting: LOW

Breitbart

  • Bias: Extreme Right, Propaganda, Conspiracy, Failed Fact Checks

The Gateway Pundit

  • Bias: Extreme Right, Propaganda, Conspiracy, Nationalism, Some Fake News

Conservative Daily Post

  • Bias: Extreme Right, Propaganda, Conspiracy, Some Fake News

rickwells.us

  • Bias: Extreme Right, Propaganda, Conspiracy

Blunt Force Truth

  • Bias: Extreme Right, Propaganda, Conspiracy

CONSPIRACY-PSEUDOSCIENCE

Sources in the Conspiracy-Pseudoscience category may publish unverifiable information that is not always supported by evidence. These sources may be untrustworthy for credible/verifiable information, therefore fact checking and further investigation is recommended on a per article basis when obtaining information from these sources

Infowars-Alex Jones

  • Factual Reporting: LOW

pseudo4

STRONG RIGHT BIAS

These media sources are moderately to strongly biased toward conservative causes through story selection and/or political affiliation. They may utilize strong loaded words (wording that attempts to influence an audience by using appeal to emotion or stereotypes), publish misleading reports and omit reporting of information that may damage conservative causes. Some sources in this category may be untrustworthy.

Daily Caller - Right Bias

  • Factual Reporting: MIXED

The Daily Caller

Daily Signal

Daily Wire

Western Journal

NewsMax

Town Hall

Fox News

The Blaze

Weekly Standard

Bizpac Review

LESS BIASED : RIGHT-CENTER

These media sources are slightly to moderately conservative in bias. They often publish factual information that utilizes loaded words (wording that attempts to influence an audience by using appeal to emotion or stereotypes) to favor conservative causes. These sources are generally trustworthy for information, but may require further investigation.

Forbes - Right Center Bias

  • Factual Reporting: MIXED/HIGH

Forbes

Wall Street Journal

LEAST BIASED

These sources have minimal bias and use very few loaded words (wording that attempts to influence an audience by using appeal to emotion or stereotypes).  The reporting is factual and usually sourced.  These are the most credible media sources.

Politifact - Least Biased

  • Factual Reporting: HIGH

Politifact

Financial Times

Pew Research

The Economist

Washington Journal

LESS BIASED : LEFT-CENTER

These media sources have a slight to moderate liberal bias.  They often publish factual information that utilizes loaded words (wording that attempts to influence an audience by using appeal to emotion or stereotypes) to favor liberal causes.  These sources are generally trustworthy for information, but may require further investigation.

USA Today - Left Center Bias

  • Factual Reporting: HIGH

USA Today

Washington Post

New York Times

Source for these ratings, which are generally in line with other reputable analyses : Media Bias Fact Check

A Modest Proposal

  • It might be helpful if socialMedia platforms identified questionable sources as such.
  • It might be useful if socialMedia platforms provided their customers with the ability to parse incoming information on the basis of credibility (in much the same way as you can set the security level of your browser.

Absent either of those solutions (I’m not holding my breath), I hope you’ll invest a small amount of effort into the collective Public Good:

  • Identify Swampy Sources when you see ’em.

Just cut’n’paste this into the CommentLine:

Consider the source:   https://jcvtcsblog.wordpress.com/2018/07/30/swampy-sources/

Crowdsource Wisdom

But, who’s counting?

 

 

 

© The Communication Studio LLC

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