News and current events Guide

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About

There are many ways to learn about the news. Traditionally, newspapers and news magazines provided the most in-depth news coverage. These days there are also apps, TV news programs, and blogs that provide coverage of current events and breaking news. Wherever you get your information, it is always a good idea to check multiple sources on a news story to verify/confirm accuracy.

Also, remember to recognize the difference between a news report and an editorial. A news report states facts and the purpose is to inform whereas an editorial provides opinions and the purpose is to persuade the reader to a particular viewpoint. You can learn a lot from opinion pieces, but it is important to keep in mind they are not even pretending to present an unbiased news report. This guide offers a number of different sources all of which are generally considered reliable.

For tips on how to better analyze news sources on your own, check out this article by Paul Glader, a journalism professor at The King’s College in New York City: 10 Journalism Brands Where You Find Real Facts Rather Than Alternative Facts 

Norman Rockwell image of a man reading a newspaper

"Fact and Fiction". Color halftone reproduction of painting by American painter and illustrator Norman Rockwell (1894-1978), used as cover illustration for "Leslie's illustrated weekly newspaper", vol. 124, no. 3201, 11 January 1917. This image is available from the United States Library of Congress's Prints and Photographs division under the digital ID cph.3b52206.

Test yourself

Take a quick test to see if you can spot fake news:


Check out these webpages to learn how you can better evaluate news sources:

Red flags

Watch out for "sponsored content" that looks like news but actually is paid for by an advertiser. Sponsored content is designed to promote a product or service. The samples below show how sponsored content presents as part of the publication and doesn't immediately stand out as an advertisement.

samples of

 

Social media: beware the dangers

Social media often have the earliest indications of breaking news, though this information is often rife with errors that might be dangerously misleading. Rumors and untruths can emerge on social media as quickly as facts, and so exercising caution in assessing breaking news on social media is critically important. That said, reliable information from reporters also routinely appears first on social media. Non-journalists on the scene of an incident may post videos, images, or assertions (often presented as facts) on social media platforms very quickly.

Twitter

Twitter You can create an account or log into an account by going to twitter.com.

However, if you don't want to join Twitter, you cannot enter the site by simply typing "twitter.com"--this will merely prompt you to create an account. To read tweets without registering, enter the address of an existing Twitter account, for example: "https://twitter.com/dailymail". This will take you that account, but from there you can access all of Twitter simply by using the search function at the top of the screen and the "Latest" tab to view the most recent posts about the topics you search for.

Facebook

Facebook Accessing Facebook requires setting up an account.

Despite evidence revealing nefarious activities on and by Facebook, there are still a number of legitimate accounts offering objective news and breaking news will show up on Facebook pretty fast especially if you have liked news organizations. Use Facebook with caution knowing that photos may be manipulated and stories have not necessarily been vetted for accuracy.

Also keep in mind that your personal information may not be kept private on any social media account.

Web site/apps

Many websites and apps will send notifications of breaking news. If you are interested in having notifications automatically sent, you'll have to sign up and provide your phone number and/or email address.

AP Mobile

BBC

Google News, designate a specific topic by setting up a google alert https://www.google.com/alerts

NPR

Reuters

UPI

Yahoo

TV news

Network and cable TV offer a wide range of news programming, and television is a popular way to get breaking news. Reputable in-depth TV news programming can be found at Public Broadcasting System (PBS), particularly PBS NewsHour and Frontline

While TV reports may provide immediate information, TV news often veers into "infotainment" rather than in-depth analysis of a topic. It can be challenging to distinguish between opinion and fact in a news broadcast as anchors might add their personal interpretation to a story or guests might all represent one point of view and the other side of the story is never mentioned. To avoid getting a lopsided view of the news, it's probably a good idea to watch different stations and different programs. To really understand issues making TV news, know that newspapers and news magazines will usually offer more extensive coverage than television and give you more facts.

Be aware of implicit biases not only in the coverage of news events, but also in the absence of coverage. An interesting analysis of TV news coverage that gives some insights into how biases get communicated in subtle ways is available in this article The Difference in How CNN, MSNBC, and Fox Cover the News.

Phone alerts

Signing up for phone alerts is one way to get breaking news.

Linn-Benton Community College alerts. Instructions on how to sign up for an LBCC emergency alert are available on the campus website at http://linnbenton.edu/faculty-and-staff/college-services/public-safety-emergency-planning-ehs/emergency-plans-teams-services/communication-procedures.php

City of Albany Alerts, https://www.cityofalbany.net/alert

Linn-Benton Alert Emergency Notification,  https://member.everbridge.net/index/453003085613276#/login

Historic newspapers/older news
Databases
News magazines

A number of excellent magazines and journals provide in-depth coverage of news topics. 

The computers at the LBCC libraries grant free access to many news magazines through databases. Ask a reference librarian how you can access them in the library or from home.

The Albany campus library also offers a small selection of hard copy issues in the reading room.

The Atlantic

The Economist

Foreign Affairs

Foreign Policy

The New Republic

Newspapers
Newspapers
Photograph of newspaper front pages laid out
Tip #1

For LBCC students, the library provides databases that include articles from a great many newspapers and news magazines. You can find out more about these resources under the tab “databases” on this page or by asking a reference librarian.

Tip #2

If you are interested in an issue or an event in a particular area, identify the local newspaper and see if you can find it online. A local source might provide details or a perspective not available elsewhere. 

Tip #3

Of course there are many newspapers available online in languages other than English. A sampling of options is provided at https://libguides.mit.edu/flnewspapers

International newspapers

Africa

The Moroccan Times (Morocco)

The South African (Republic of South Africa)

The Standard (Kenya)

Asia and Oceania

Asahi Shimbun (Japan)

China Daily (China)

New Zealand Herald (New Zealand)

The Australian (Australia)

The Hindu (India)

The Times of India (India)

Europe

Corriere della Sera (Italy)

Le Figaro (France)

Financial Times (England)

The Guardian (England)

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (Germany)

Irish Times (Ireland)

The Moscow Times (Russia)

Latin America

Mexico News Daily (Mexico)

The Rio Times (Brazil)

The Santiago Times (Chile)

Today Venezuela (Venezuela)

Middle East

Ha'aretz (Israel)

Khaleej Times (United Arab Emirates)

Saudi Gazette (Saudi Arabia)

The Daily Star (Lebanon)

 

Check out a book about journalism

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Check out this website

Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about issues, attitudes, and trends shaping the world. Their section on journalism and media offers insights into contemporary news and news sources and is highly recommended: http://www.journalism.org/