Specific Sources: Broadcast media
At first glance
By thinking about the purpose of the program, you can easily find information to begin evaluating it as a reliable source. This information may include:
What type of program was it?
- News report, documentary, entertainment
What was the intention of the person who produced the show?
- To inform, to entertain, to sensationalize
Who was the intended audience?
- General public, children, professionals
Who presented the information?
- An actor, a paid spokesperson, an expert in the field
Where was the program aired?
- For example, if the program aired on public television this could add to the credibility of the source.
When was it produced?
- Keep in mind that depending on your topic the age of the material may be important.
A closer look
By taking a closer look at the program, you can find additional information to help you evaluate it.
Do you think there was a bias in the presentation of the information?
- Was the producer trying to influence your opinion?
- Was their position a neutral one or were they representing a particular perspective?
Was the presentation of information balanced?
- Did it present multiple viewpoints or just one?
How thoroughly did it cover the subject?
- Did it give a general overview?
- Was it an in-depth look on a single aspect of the subject?
How was the information presented?
- Did the program include interviews with experts or witnesses?
- Was the program a reenactment or actual footage of an event?