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Hamersly Library

COM 342 - Media Literacy: Broaden Your Perspective

Information Sources Outside the Mainstream

The following websites are only a sampling of news and information sources that will provide you with perspectives that are not always included in mainstream media or academic databases. As with any information source, make sure you apply the CRAPP test (see below) before trusting the sources as credible and always gather multiple perspectives on any given topic.


Does it pass the CRAPP test?

Currency: the timeliness of the information

  • When was the information published or posted?
  • Has the information been revised or updated?
  • Is the information current or out-of date for your topic?
  • Are the links functional?

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 appropriate level (i.e. not too elementary or advanced for your needs)?
  • Have you looked at a variety of sources before determining this is one you will use?
  • Would you be comfortable using this source for a research paper?

Authority: the source of the information

  • Is the author's name visible? Does the author have an affiliation with an organization or institution?
  • Does the author list his or her credentials? Are they relevant to the information presented? 
  • Is there a publisher, mailing address or telephone number included, as well as an e-mail address? 
  • What are the author's qualifications to write on the topic?

Path: how you got there

  • Was it found via a search conducted through a search engine? Unlike library databases, the accuracy and/or quality of information located via a search engine will vary greatly. Look carefully!
  • Was it recommended by a faculty member or another reliable source? Generally, an indicator of reliability.
  • Was it cited in a scholarly or credible source? Generally, an indicator of reliability.
  • Was it a link from a reputable site? Generally, an indicator of reliability.

Perspective: the reason the information exists

  • What is the purpose of the information? to inform? teach? sell? entertain? persuade? Do the authors/sponsors make their intentions or purpose clear?
  • Are sources of factual information or statistics cited? Is there a bibliography included?
  • Is the information fact? opinion? propaganda?
  • Does the point of view appear objective and impartial? Are there political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional, or personal biases?
  • Compare the page to related sources, electronic or print, for assistance in determining accuracy.
  • Are there ads? Is there a relationship between the ads and the content or are they simply providing financial support for the page?

Another test:

Need Help?

Robert Monge
​Instruction Librarian




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