Tara Franks
Material Type:
Community College / Lower Division
  • Bias News
  • Cyber Citizenship
  • Media and Society
  • Misinformation
    Creative Commons Attribution
    Media Formats:
    Downloadable docs

    Education Standards

    Biased News Report Assignment

    Biased News Report Assignment


    This is an essay/assignment designed for a college-level (100/200) media course focused on fake/biased news reporting. 

    COMM 70 - Media and Society


    For this paper, you will:

    1. Select: a timely (in the last 3 months) mediated news story of personal interest to you. As we will cover in class, partial or biased news is any news story or report that seems to be lacking key important facts, statistics, and/or reliable evidence to support the writer’s claims. Instead, the story may contain “alternative facts”, inflammatory/sensory-laden or biased language, unsupported yet heavy persuasive claims, inequity issues that go unaddressed, or show signs of ethical breaches. You should select a news story from a traditional news source (CNN, FOX, MSNBC, etc.), social media site, satirical source, etc. We will discuss more in class about options.

    2. Summarize and Analyze: After you have selected your news story, begin by providing a brief summary of the report in your own words, paraphrasing the author’s major claims. Be sure to use proper MLA or APA in-text citations when using direct quotes or paraphrasing another’s work/words. As you summarize, be sure to analyze (identify and explain) any biases, stereotypes, inflammatory language, ethical breaches, or unsupported claims you detected. In your summary/analysis, you should also discuss the potential affects you believe this type of coverage has various audiences. For example, how might different cultural or age-demographic communities interpret the major claims? A great resource to use for your paper (both to find articles and to go over biased news research) is the COMM 70 Fake News Library Guide. (Links to an external site.)
    3. Correct: Now you become the news editor! Using TWO other outside credible (i.e., reputable) news sources, your job is to create a more complete news report using the newly found, well-rounded, and contrasting evidence you gather for the story of your choice. Be sure to include in-text citations and a reference page for the all sources used. In this section, you will compare and contrast what the two other sources include that the original story did not. The idea is that you paint a more whole (and accurate) picture of the news event by including evidence from 3 total sources. 
    4. Reflect: Given what you found and learned from this assignment, share your personal reactions to the “biased/fake news” phenomenon. Some questions to consider in the final reflection include: what surprised, intrigued, or challenged you about this assignment? How does biased news affect you, if at all? How might you tie your learning to ideas/concept of digital literacy? Is there evidence of any theory that we have covered in class at work here (go back to module #1 for the 4 theories)? What advice would you give to 2020 news consumers? How would you critique the news community (as a whole) regarding ethical standards of practice? You do not need to answer all these questions, but they are food for thought :)