How to Spot Media Bias and Fake News and Improve Media Literacy

May 18, 2022

Do you ever think the media is lying to you? Or are you mistrusting of the news? If so, you’re not alone. According to the 2021 Edelman trust barometer, less than half of Americans trust the mainstream media. 

While you cannot control the transparency of the news, you can control your media literacy, or critical analysis of the news, which will help you become better informed. So, with more news available today than ever before, how do you know if it’s legitimate? 

Sometimes, it’s less about the volume of news you consume and more about the quality of news you consume. Learning how to spot media bias and fake news can help build your media literacy, making you better informed. Here are a few tips to get started improving your media literacy. 

What is Fake News?

Fake news is any misleading information that is passed as legitimate truth. It may be intentionally a false story, or the storyteller may take some legitimate news out of context, exaggerate certain elements of the story, or an inaccurate telling of the full story. 

What is Media Bias?

Media bias is a partiality to a story that can be intentional or unintentional, caused by journalists or other storytellers. There are several types of media bias, including omitting facts, selecting impartial or incomplete sources, where and when a story is shared, and spinning a story to make a certain perspective appear better. But, regardless of the intent behind it, media bias makes it difficult to get the full truth behind a story. 

Ways to Tell if a Story is Fake News or Biased

Missing parts of a story or experiencing media bias affect the way we think about the world around us and current events. Without knowing the full picture, it’s difficult to form a fully informed decision. However, spotting media bias and fake news is easier said than done. 

Here are a few questions to ask when spotting fake news:

  • Does the story contain any grammar or spelling errors or errors in the URL? 
  • Can you find the same image used in another story with a reverse Google image search? 
  • Is the headline sensationalized to get clicks? 
  • Is it a satire or parody? 

Also, a few questions to ask when spotting media bias:

  • Who or what is sharing the story? Is it a legitimate news outlet? 
  • What are the sources used to back up the facts? 
  • What do other media outlets say about the same story? 
  • What is the transparency of the outlet and its sources like? 

But, if you want to be sure that you can spot media bias and fake news, try a technology that is free of bias (because only a transparent tech, without human emotions, can fully remove bias). That’s where The Daily Edit comes in. 

Fight Media Bias with Technology 

The Daily Edit is an algorithm-based, comparative news information platform powered by machine learning to measure the world’s stories—so you always have the full story. Get real-time media insight into current stories, so you always have transparency about the news. 

Our proprietary technology processes media outputs around the world, evaluating every detail, for integrity and bias. Then, we score media based on our “Trust Index,” making every story a data story.

Featured image by John Schnobrich

Download The Daily Edit app for more insights, to learn about our mission, and how our technology is changing the way the world engages with information.
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