Yes, the source matters

A newspaper story is not a think tank white paper is not a personal blog post is not a academic journal article is not a advocacy group fact sheet.

There’s a major difference between writing about an issue to generate knowledge, i.e. to increase human understanding, and writing about it to advance a specific, often political, viewpoint.  One of our responsibilities as teachers is to help students explore the difference so they understand what they’re reading.  Being able to identify a source’s intention(s) and detect an author’s bias(es) are important skills worth developing.  From what I have seen in the classroom, “information literacy” is lacking in a democratic society where we have access to a dearth of materials. Unfortunately, many people don’t know how to distinguish between them.

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