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Liberal, Conservative & Non-Partisan Periodicals

The purpose of this guide is to provide information and resources on the role of news and magazines and how to evaluate them for bias.

The Critical Consumer

As you engage with sources and information, you must be a critical consumer! As you identify the reliability/bias of each source, you will be able to answer these questions more quickly. 

Ask yourself questions about each source:

  • Is the source showing favor to once side of the story or is it non-partisan?
  • Who is the sponsor (publisher or benefactor) of the publication?
  • What is the agenda of the sponsor - to simply share information or to influence social or political change?
  • Can I confirm these facts by visiting multiple sources of information?
  • Are there contradictions and inconsistencies in the story?
  • Whose viewpoint is represented as fact and who is NOT represented?
  • Which points of view are systematically put into a favorable light and which in an unfavorable light?
  • Are specific social conventions and taboos being used to define issues and problems?

Political Bias

The bias in periodicals is frequently based on political agenda and the information below provides definitions of viewpoints in the U.S. political environment.  

However, other types of bias can include religious perspectives, environmental agendas or social advocacy. 

US Political Spectrum Infographic

Lateral Reading

One way to identify bias is the practice of lateral reading which involves opening up more browser tabs to find additional information about the source you are reading. The video below explains why this is a valuable practice with useful examples. 

Sources to Confirm Bias

Need a quick reference to check for bias? These "bias-checking" sites periodically review the news from a source to evaluate for bias and give it a rating from liberal to non-partisan to conservative.