Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

For information on library services during Fall 2020 go to our COVID 19 guide

WRI 211 - Journalism: News Online

Resources for journalism majors

Evaluating Web Content

 The amount of information available on the WWW is staggering.  Unfortunately much of this information has not been reviewed for authority, accuracy, objectivity, currency, or completeness.  The burden of evaluation falls on you, the reader.

Authority:

  • Is it clear who is responsible for the Web page?
  • Is it clear who wrote the material?  Are their credentials clearly stated?
  • If the material is copyrighted, is the name of the copyright holder given?

Accuracy:

  • Are the sources for any factual information clearly listed so that verification is possible?
  • Is the information clear of blatant grammatical, spelling and/or other typographical errors?
  • If there are graphs or charts are they clearly labeled?  Is source information given?

Objectivity:

  • What is the purpose of providing the information?  (Public service, profit, or persuasion)
  • Is the information free of advertising?
  • If there is advertising is it clearly differentiated from the informational content?

Currency:

  • Are there dates on the page indicating when it was written or last revised?
  • Are there indications that the material is kept current?

Coverage:

  • Is there an indication that the page has been completed and is not still under construction?

 

(These criteria are based on checklists in the book Web Wisdom: How to Evaluate and Create Information Quality on the Web by Jan Alexander and Marsha Ann Tate)

Web Sites

Professional Organizations and Academic Sites:

Broadcast News Online

Some Alternative News Sources

 

Other Information Sources