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Political Bias in Periodicals
Periodicals that cover politics and current events may have a political or cultural bias. This may be reflected in their choice of topics, the opinions expressed, or the solutions proposed. An awareness of bias is important when you select the sources for your research.
To detect bias, keep the following in mind:
- Are all sides of an issue represented?
- Is the author affiliated with an organization that would have a vested interest in swaying your opinion?
- Is the language calm and neutral or inflammatory?
- Is the information presented as fact or opinion?
- Was the source created to inform you about something, or persuade you of something (including persuading you to buy something)?
- Who is providing the funding? Who advertises in the periodical?
There are times when it’s appropriate to use sources with a bias. When you’re examining a controversial issue, you’ll want to be aware of what folks on both sides are saying. But regardless of what you’re trying to do, you always need to be AWARE of any bias in a source.
For more tips on evaluating your sources, visit the library’s Evaluating Your Sources guide.