What makes news
- Novelty / Unusualness
- Tragedy / Conflict / Misfortune
- Immediacy / Timeliness / Trend
Different journalism textbooks use different wordings, but the main idea here is to understand what people “value” as newsworthy. The Center for News Literacy at Stony Brook University calls these as “Universal News Drivers” because they drive news stories.
Source evaluation questions
- Who is this person?
- What is the person’s name, position, relationship to the news event?
- Why is this person quoted by the journalist?
- What information does this person provide?
- Does this person give facts or opinion?
- How does this person know the facts?
- What is this person’s interest in talking to the media?
IMVAIN source analysis
(From the Center for News Literacy at Stony Brook University)
- Independent Sources Are Better Than Self-Interested Sources
- Multiple Sources Are Better Than A Single Source
- Sources Who Verify Are Better Than Sources Who assert
- Authoritative/Informed Sources Are Better Than Uninformed Sources
- Named Sources Are Better Than Unnamed Sources
Please also download the Source Evaluation Checklist (PDF).
7 steps of news deconstruction
- Summarize the main points of the story.
- Evaluate the sources: IM VA/IN analysis.
- Assess the evidence.
- Assess the level of transparency.
- Look for the context.
- Look for missing key information. Are key questions (what, when, where, who, why and how) all answered?
- Evaluate the fairness while questioning your own bias.