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Critical Digital Literacies: News Literacy

Readings for News Literacy


Downey, A. (2016). Critical Information Literacy: Foundations, Inspirations, and Ideas. Library Juice Press.

Hindman, M. (2018). Disinformation, 'Fake News' and Influence Campaigns on Twitter. Knight Foundation. Retrieved from

Pew Research Center. (2018). Internet/Broadband Fact Sheet. Retrieved from

What is News Literacy?

The Center for News Literacy at the Stony Brook School of Journalism defines News Literacy as the ability to develop critical thinking skills to judge the reliability and credibility of information, whether it comes via print, television, or the Internet. As high-speed Internet access reaches nearly 90% of American adults, information professionals today face the challenge of synthesizing a complex and tumultuous media environment in age of deepening public distrust in the media.

The purpose of this page is to provide a framework for navigating news literacy, and to curate a set of tools and resources for our patron population of undergraduate students. 

Image via IFLA

image via International Federation of Library Associations


The CRAAP Test

The CRAAP Test is a framework through which information consumers can asses the credibility of their sources. Developed by a team of librarians at California State University, Chico, the tool is applicable across a variety of disciplines, including news literacy. Given the proliferation of news sources on the Internet and the variety of channels through which users access information, the CRAAP Test is a useful guide when navigating the news literacy landscape.

CRAAP is an acronym that stands for Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, and Purpose

Currency: The timeliness of the information

  • When was the information published or posted?
  • Has the information been revised or updated?
  • Does the topic require current information, or will older sources work?

Relevance: The importance of the information for your needs

  • Does the information relate to your topic or answer your question?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • Is the information at an audience-appropriate level?
  • Have you cross-checked with a variety of sources before using this one?

Authority: The Source of the information

  • Who is the author/publisher/source/sponsor?
  • What are the author's credentials or organizational affiliations?
  • How is the author qualified to write on this topic?
  • Is there contact information, such as a publisher or email address?
  • Does the URL reveal anything about the author or source?
    • i.e. a .gov vs a .org

Accuracy: The reliability, truthfulness, and correctness of the content

  • Where does the information come from?
  • Is the information supported by evidence?
  • Has the information been reviewed or refereed?
  • Can you verify any of the information from another source or personal knowledge?
  • Does the language or tone seem unbiased and free from emotion?
  • Are there spelling, grammar, or typographical errors?

Purpose: The reason the information exists

  • What is the purpose of the information? Is it to inform, teach, sell, or persuade?
  • Do the authors/sponsors make their intentions clear?
  • Is the information fact, opinion, or propaganda?
  • Does the point of view appear objective and impartial?
  • Are the political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional, or personal biases?

Remixing Webpages With Plugins

News Literacy Resources

Fact-Checking Resources