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Misinformation & Fake News

What Makes Real News Real?

  • Real news is presented by real news sources.
    • Check your news source for a code of ethics or a mission statement
  • Real news is written by reporters with degrees in journalism and, often, in the fields in which they report.
  • The primary goal of real news is to inform.
    • If you're mad, scared, furious, or anxious, you will want to investigate the article's claims further.
  • Real news can be verified.
    • You should be able to find reports, statistics, and other real news articles that support what you're reading.

Journalists and Their Code of Ethics

One of the ways in which a news source demonstrates its authenticity and responsibility to its readers is through a publicly accessible code of ethics or standards.  A sample of various codes, mission statements and ethics handbooks are listed below.

Society of Professional Journalists code of ethics, including:

  • seek truth and report it
  • minimize harm
  • act independently
  • be accountable and transparent

NPR Standards of Journalism, including:

  • accuracy
  • fairness
  • completeness
  • honesty
  • independence
  • impartiality
  • transparency
  • accountability
  • respect
  • excellence

New York Times Code of Ethics, including:

  • fairness
  • integrity
  • truth

Finding Real News

A random list of reliable news sources:

The New York Times

This is the most influential newspaper in the U.S. in my view. Its editorial page and some of its news coverage take a left-leaning, progressive view of the world. But the NYT also hews to ethical standards of reporting and the classic elements of journalism in America.

The Wall Street Journal

The WSJ is still brand X among daily business publications in the world. Its editorial page is a bastion of American free-market conservatism, using the motto, "free markets, free people." It has won several Pulitzer Prizes for editorials and columns that feature a clear thesis, backed up by thorough fact-based reporting and bold arguments. *

The Washington Post

The newspaper that brought down President Richard Nixon with its reporting on the Watergate scandal in the early 1970s maintains its intellectually robust tradition under the new ownership of founder Jeff Bezos. The Post has, for decades, been part of the big three national papers - a peer of the NYT and WSJ - in terms of winning Pulitzer Prizes, hiring the best and brightest reporters and producing big scoops.

4. BBC

The BBC is the global standard bearer for excellence in broadcast radio and TV journalism.

The New Yorker

This American treasure publishes sophisticated narrative non-fiction pieces from top writers and reporters each week in a print magazine and, increasingly, on other platforms. The long-form non-fiction reports on politics, culture, business and other topics often take months to report, write and fact check. The result is deep reporting and analysis each week that is hard to find elsewhere.

Wire Services: The Associated Press, Reuters, Bloomberg News

You can't exactly "subscribe" to these wire services. But you can trust reports from these organizations to be factual. They provide a backbone of news and information flows about politics and the economy.

Foreign Affairs

This bi-monthly magazine is published by the Council on Foreign Relations. It's a serious magazine for people who want intelligence on global affairs.

The Atlantic

This is another national treasure, a monthly magazine that presents a view of the nation and world from Washington D.C. It is informed by many top journalists who write long-form features and also write some analysis.


Founded by reporters who left the Washington Post in 2006, Politico has built itself into a crucial player in politics reporting in the U.S. (and with expansions to Europe). It does publish some products in print, but Politico is easily accessible on the Internet and mobile devices.

National Public Radio

The Christian Science Monitor

NBC News

CBS News

ABC News