COMM141 Essential English Skills and Communications


Fact vs Opinion Media Assignment


Find a news story and gather information for a few days to compare any similarities and differences of information. Track the same news story on various formats such as TV, online, blogs, social media, newspaper or even a magazine.

  • Research and visit any websites that are mentioned and follow up with any statistics provided.
  • Check out social media (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram etc.)
  • Read what people are saying about the news story
  • Dig a bit deeper to see what you find
  • Use these results to develop your supporting points

Use these 10 questions on Fake News to shape your analysis:

  1. Has someone’s words been verified by an independent source?
  2. How many sources have verified the news?
  3. Are the sources that have verified the news considered legitimate and independent?
  4. Does the news source that verifies the news give the opposite points of view an opportunity to make itself heard?
  5. Does the source of the news have an obvious stake in the prospect that the reader will believe the news to be true?
  6. Is the source known to be reliable?
  7. Is the source a proper authority on the subject?
  8. Does the source have a reason to be biased?
  9. Does the source’s claim conflict with expert opinion?
  10. Does the person making the claim base it on evidence?

Write a paragraph, essay or report using APA 7 format and discuss whether the new story is fake news: fact or opinion. Be sure to add several supporting details.

Consider the following points when organizing your analysis:

  • Is the news verified, how?
  • Are the sources verified, how?
  • Think about if the author is using their own opinion, how do you know?
  • Is there an obvious stake in the prospect that the reader will believe to be true, how?
  • Is the source reliable? Prove it.
  • Are there any evident of biases, why and how?
  • Does the claim conflict with expert opinion, how?
  • Is there any evidence to prove it to be true? State it.
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